The Colorado soccer team entered the weekend still in control of its own destiny when it comes to a potential NCAA Tournament berth. But that privilege only continues if the Buffaloes pick up wins down the stretch.
Facing a run of three consecutive road games against the Pac-12 Conference cellar-dwellers to complete the regular season, CU got off to a good start on Thursday, winning 1-0 at Oregon State. It was CU's fourth win in its past five matches against the Beavers.
Freshman Marty Puketapu scored the lone goal for the Buffs in the 52nd minute off an assist from senior Becca Rasmussen, allowing CU to pick up its second road win within the Pac-12 this season.
It also was a historic shutout on a number of fronts.
For Puketapu, a rookie from New Zealand, it was her eighth goal of the season, tying Brie Hooks' 2013 total for the fourth-most by a CU freshman. Rasmussen tallied her team-leading seventh assist of the season, tying four other former Buffaloes for the third-best single-season total in the program's history. That mark also is the second-most ever by a CU senior, trailing only the eight assists recorded by Anne Stuller in 2013.
Redshirt sophomore goalie Jalen Tompkins needed to make only three saves to post the team's 12th shutout of the year, which matches the record single-season totals posted by the CU teams of 2004 and 2014. It was the 14th career solo shutout for Tompkins, matching former teammate Kate Scheele for fourth-place on CU's all-time list.
"I thought we came out slow and Oregon State came out with a lot of energy and put us under a lot of pressure early. After the first 15 minutes, I thought we started to settle down and play much better," Colorado head coach Danny Sanchez said. "As far as the goal, just really a great individual effort from Becca. She picked the ball up wide, beat a player on the dribble, cut inside and beat another player. And then she slipped a great ball to Marty to tuck it away. After that, we defended very well and gave up just a couple of half chances. But really, the back four and JJ did a good job to get the shutout."
The Buffs, who began the week at No. 43 in the all-important RPI, continue their road trip Sunday at Oregon at Noon MST in a match that will air on the Pac-12 Network. CU completes the regular season next week at Utah.
Colorado 1, Oregon State 0
At Oregon StateColorado (9-5-4, 3-4-2) 0 1 — 1
Oregon State (4-10-3, 1-7-1) 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — Colorado: Puketapu (Rasmussen), 52nd minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Oregon State: Geist (90-1-2); Colorado: Tompkins (90-0-3).