For the first time in three games so far this season, Colorado women’s soccer coach Danny Sanchez opted to forgo his goalie rotation in favor of the hot hand.
In the case of Friday’s 1-0 win at home against Texas Christian, that goalie was Jalen Tompkins. The redshirt sophomore didn’t have to do much to post the eighth solo shutout of her still-young career, as the Buffaloes didn’t allow a shot on goal against a foe from a Power 5 conference for the first time since 2008.
Tompkins, though, impressed Sanchez with the way she was verbally directing CU’s defenders. So after starting the first two games before giving way to Scout Watson at halftime each time, Tompkins logged the entire 90 minutes Friday at Prentup Field.
“It’s just going to be an every-game decision,” Sanchez said. “I felt we were playing well. The communication for the back four was well. We have utmost confidence in both of them, as I’ve said a hundred times. But this was a game for J.J. to complete a shutout and she did. But really the credit goes to the back four or five players.”
CU’s defense has been so stingy that Tompkins has had to make only two saves in 180 minutes through three games.
When senior defender Joss Orejel missed the season-opening scoreless draw at Colorado State while attending her grandfather’s funeral, the Buffs were forced to play without a subtle yet significant part of their offensive attack.
Orejel generally takes the majority of CU’s corner kicks and free kicks. She also is uniquely adept at delivering pinpoint crossing passes, a skill that was on display again late in the first half Friday as she set up Taylor Kornieck’s header goal in the 33rd minute.
“When she wasn’t there we kind of lost that ability to play that kind of ball,” Kornieck said. “She’s definitely a key player in that.”
It was Orejel’s first assist of the season and 10th of her career.
The Buffs host UC-Riverside on Sunday at 1 p.m….CU has posted three consecutive shutouts to start a season for the first time since 2014. All three of those 2014 games were in regulation, while the 2017 Buffs have played an extra 31:13 of overtime minutes…The Buffs need to post another 69:42 shutout minutes to reach the list of the top-10 scoreless streaks in the program’s history…Sophomore defender Kelsey Aaknes was credited with the second assist on Kornieck’s goal for her first career point.
Pat Rooney: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/prooney07