All that simmering offensive frustration was erased in a hurry by the Colorado women's soccer team.
After scoring just two goals through the season's first three games — a stretch that included an extra 30-plus minutes of overtime play — the Buffaloes erupted for five goals in the first half Sunday in a 6-0 rout of UC-Riverside at Prentup Field.
It was a historic performance by CU freshman Martine Puketapu, who recorded the fifth hat trick in the program's history. The native of New Zealand also recorded an assist and set a CU record with seven points in the first half. Puketapu also became just the third Buffs player to post seven points in a game, following Anne Stuller (seven points vs. Tennessee-Martin in 2013) and Nikki Marshall (eight points vs. Clemson in 2006 and a record nine points vs. Oklahoma in 2009).
"We needed this win so badly," Puketapu said. "We were so hungry for the goals today. We haven't gotten too many goals at the start of the season, so we knew we had to bring everything and find the back of the net. Which is what we did. Some players who haven't had much game time yet got to see the field, and we kept the momentum going."
For the first time this season, the Buffs struck first and often, with Puketapu notching her first goal in the fifth minute off an assist from senior defender Joss Orejel. Puketapu earned an assist on Megan Massey's first career goal in the 13th minute, and Puketapu completed the hat trick with successive goals in a span of 2 minutes, 17 seconds midway through the opening half off assists by Becca Rasmussen.
The first career goal by junior Nancy Best late in the first half gave the Buffs a 5-0 lead at halftime.
"This is a good team that tied Denver on Friday, and I think it was important for us to get off to a good start. To get those early goals I think took the wind out of their sails a little bit," CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. "We were able to build momentum off that. I think the key was the early start.
"It was good to find some stuff in the final third. Marty, Megan, Nancy, and obviously Becca with a couple of quality assists. I felt it was a good overall team performance. We need to share the wealth a little bit in goal-scoring so it was nice to get some other people on the score sheet."
While CU's offense finally unloaded, the defense continued its season-opening shutout streak by allowing just two shots on goal. That season-opening shutout streak now stands at 391 minutes, 13 seconds and, dating back to last season, the Buffs are riding a scoreless streak of 407:58. That ranks as the fifth-longest shutout streak in the program's history.
After going with Jalen Tompkins in goal throughout Friday's win against TCU, Sanchez reverted to the goalie rotation he utilized during the season's first two games, with Tompkins starting and Scout Watson taking over at halftime. Both goalies needed to make just one save apiece.
"I think this was great for us. It builds up our confidence," Rasmussen said. "I think we needed that. It's just good to rely on the full team than one or two individuals. It's good to get everyone involved."
Colorado 6, UC-Riverside 0
At Prentup FieldUC-Riverside (1-2-1)00—0
Goals (assists) —CU: Puketapu (Orejel), 5th minute; CU: Massey (Puketapu), 13th minute; CU: Puketapu (Rasmussen), 20th minute; CU: Puketapu (Rasmussen), 22nd minute; CU: Best (Scheid), 43rd minute; CU: UC-Riverside own-goal, 55th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — UC-Riverside: Guzman (45-5-4), Bailey (45-1-3); CU: Tompkins (45-0-1), Watson (45-0-1).