Beyond a desire to be closer to home, Tatum Barton believed transferring into the Colorado soccer program would create a better opportunity for her to showcase her offensive skills.
Given her first start on Monday against Brigham Young, Barton provided a huge spark for the No. 21-ranked Buffaloes, scoring the first two collegiate goals of her career and adding an assist as CU posted a 3-0 victory at Prentup Field.
CU improved to 4-0-2 and kept its season-long shutout streak intact while establishing a pair of significant defensive records along the way.
"I've been waiting to score my first goal here, so I'm really happy that I got to do that today and help the team get this win," said Barton, a Colorado native who graduated from Columbine High. "As a forward, it takes time to learn to play with the other forwards. The more we play together, the more we learn where we're going to be. That helps us on the offensive end."
Unlike the other transfers on CU's roster, Barton was a late addition from Texas Tech who did not practice with the club during the spring. Her acclimation period appeared over on Monday, as the sophomore wasted little time jump-starting a CU offense that settled for its second scoreless draw of the season two days earlier against Cal State-Northridge.
After pushing a line drive just high in the third minute, it was a Barton shot off the post in the 23rd minute that got the Buffs' offense started. Megan Massey eventually tracked down the rebound along the right wing, and she delivered a crossing pass that Barton headed into the center of the BYU penalty box. Taylor Kornieck converted her third goal of the season to give the Buffs a 1-0 lead.
Barton helped CU put the game away with two goals in the second half, re-directing a Kornieck pass in mid-air in the 56th minute and adding the final tally in the 83rd minute off an assist from senior Becca Rasmussen.
"I think at the end of the day (the offense) will be by committee. It was Marty (Puketapu's) turn last Sunday, and it was Tatum's turn today," CU coach Danny Sanchez said. "She played very well. But that competition is going to continue throughout the year. She was a little unlucky early in the season. She was really unlucky last season at Texas Tech. Strikers, attack players, they're judged on their production. Obviously she was very productive today and we needed her. It was a good win for the Buffs."
While Barton and Kornieck provided the offense, CU's defense continued to put the clamps on the opposition. For the first time in program history the Buffs have posted six consecutive shutouts, and during the match they surpassed the team record for consecutive shutout minutes, finishing the match with a scoreless streak of 607 minutes, 58 seconds. The previous mark of 551:54 was set in 2013.
The Buffs had allowed only four shots on goal over the previous three games, but goalie Jalen Tompkins faced a little more pressure from the Cougars, finishing with four saves while posting her third solo shutout of the season and the 10th of her career.
"Sometimes you play great defense and one just kind of nicks in, and sometimes you're very average defensively and they hit the bar three times. Really what we're looking for is our communication, our shape, and how many clear-cut opportunities we're giving up. And there hasn't been a lot so far."
Colorado 3, BYU 0
At Prentup FieldBYU (0-3-2)00—0
Goals (assists) — CU: Kornieck (Barton, Massey), 23rd minute; CU: Barton (Kornieck), 56th minute; CU: Barton (Rasmussen), 86th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — BYU: Clark (90-3-0); CU: Tompkins (90-0-4).