UC-Riverside at Colorado soccer
WHEN: Sunday, 1 p.m., Prentup Field.
RECORDS: UC-Riverside 1-1-1; CU 2-0-1.
BROADCAST: Live stream available at Pac-12 Plus.
NOTABLE: UC-Riverside is coming off a 2-2 draw Friday night at the University of Denver...Buffs goalie Jalen Tompkins ranks sixth all-time at CU in wins (16) and solo shutouts (eight)...CU completes its five-game homestand next weekend against Cal State Northridge (Saturday, 1 p.m.) and BYU (Sept. 4, 1 p.m.).
The Colorado women's soccer team has played UC-Riverside just once. It was a memorable playoff matchup in 2005 so rugged some of the Buffaloes players who fought for victory that day still are licking their wounds.
A year earlier the ascending CU soccer program posted its first NCAA Tournament victory on its second try. In 2005 the Buffs felt compelled to at least reach the second round yet again, but a stubborn UC-Riverside kept the match scoreless through two overtimes often by employing fists and elbows as frequently as actual soccer skills.
By the time CU prevailed in penalty kicks, UC-Riverside had been charged with four yellow cards and a whopping 28 fouls. Drained and battered, the Buffs were eliminated by UCLA two days later.
"I remember that game quite well because it was one of the most overly aggressive games I've ever experienced," said Laura Munnelly, a junior defender on that 2005 team. "Physical to the point of...not being dirty, but they were trying to throw us off our game by being very aggressive and physical with us. Which we could hang with. But they put a girl on Fran (Munnelly, her sister and CU's star midfielder) and told this player to essentially foul her every time she got the ball. I had to sit out 20 minutes because I got fouled so hard at the end of the game.
"It was a bloodbath. It was a rough-and-tumble-type game."
At long last the programs collide again Sunday afternoon at Prentup Field. While chances are fans won't seem the same foul-fest, a scoreless tie through regulation could very well be in the works given the manner in which the Buffs have forged their 2-0-1 start.
CU enters the game having not allowed a goal, pitching a season-opening shutout streak of 301 minutes, 13 seconds. The Buffs have managed to go unbeaten despite two Taylor Kornieck goals — an overtime winner last week against Colorado College, and a header off a Joss Orejel cross on Friday against TCU — representing the entirety of CU's offensive production.
"They play in a good conference, the Big West, that usually has multiple bids to the NCAA Tournament," CU coach Danny Sanchez said. "They're very well-coached and all these California schools, I don't care who they are, there's talent. They're at altitude on a Sunday, hopefully it's nice and warm and hopefully we get a good crowd because I think this is an exciting team to watch."