EAST LANSING, Mich. — The University of Colorado soccer team handed Michigan State its first loss of the season on Sunday.
Junior Tatum Barton scored two first-half goals in a span of five minutes, helping Colorado remain unbeaten with a 3-0 win on the road.
Barton, who started the day ranked second in the NCAA in total goals, improved her total to eight on the season. She now has career highs in both goals and points (16).
Colorado (6-0-1) continued its trend of scoring early. The Buffs scored on two of their first three shots. The upfront pair of Barton and Jorian Baucom provided the early offense, combining on the first two goals.
Baucom created the opportunity on the Buffs first goal. She made a run down the left side and sent a centering pass directly on the left foot of Barton. The junior from Littleton did not even break stride, meeting the ball at the point of contact and firing it past Michigan State's Reilley Ott on CU's first shot of the afternoon.
The pair came together again five minutes later in the 11th minute to give CU a 2-0 cushion. Baucom fielded a goal kick from Jalen Tompkins just past midfield and fed a running Barton down the center of the field. Barton beat her defender to the ball at the top corner of the box, switched directions and fired a laser with her right foot to the opposite post for her eighth goal of the season.
"I thought we came out real fast and we created some good chances early in the game. We are playing on the front foot," CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. "That first goal was a great run by Jorian. It was a nice cross and Tatum had a one-touch finish. Once again we built momentum off that first goal and we got one pretty much right after that."
Junior Stephanie Zuniga got her first tally of the season in the 80th minute. She lined up for a corner kick and bent the ball in on net. The ball was mishandled by Ott and continued across the goal line, giving Colorado the 3-0 advantage.
Tompkins and Scout Watson combined for Colorado's fifth shout of the season. Tompkins made one save in the first 45 minutes. Watson took over in the second half, making three saves to ensure the shutout.
"Personally, I like being on the road," Sanchez said. "I think most coaches don't mind it. You can control the environment. You can control when the team eats, where they go and what time they go to bed. With the travel in-between — having to drive from Milwaukee to East Lansing and not having a real good training rhythm- — I thought we responded well. We were professional in our approach to our recovery and it showed today in our performance."
Colorado's seven-match unbeaten streak is now tied for fifth longest in program history, matching streaks in 2004 and 2013. ... The 6-0-1 start to the season is the team's best start since starting 2013 6-0-0. ... It was the third time this season the Buffs have held a 2-0 lead in the first 15 minutes. ... Zuniga became Colorado's ninth different goal-scorer this season. ... Baucom now has four assists on the season, giving her 10 points.
Colorado returns home to close out the non-conference schedule. CU are slated to host Utah Valley on Thursday. The Buffs will get back into the Colorado Cup on Sunday, hosting Denver.