CU soccer to test unbeaten mark against defending national champ Florida State

Buffs’ first road match will be top-25 showdown

Cliff Grassmick/Staff photographer
Colorado goalie JJ Tompkins and the Buffs play their first road game of the season on Thursday against Florida State.
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After being one of the last teams left out of the 2018 NCAA Tournament despite a record-setting season, Colorado women’s soccer coach Danny Sanchez made a point of toughening up the Buffaloes’ 2019 nonconference schedule.

Still, while the foes so far have offered solid competition, the Buffs also have enjoyed the advantage of playing at home throughout their 6-0 start. That will change in dramatic fashion Thursday as CU, which entered this week’s United Soccer Coaches poll at No. 24, visits defending national champion Florida State.

It will be just the second matchup between the Buffs and the sixth-ranked Seminoles but the first in the regular season, as Florida State topped CU 4-0 in the Buffs’ first Sweet 16 appearance in 2013.

“We know how great the team is. We know their quality, their pedigree,” Sanchez said. “We’re excited for the opportunity. That’s why you come to Colorado, to play in games like this. At the end of it it’s like going into a great, top-five Pac-12 team. We’ve done that.

“We’re excited for the opportunity. We’re excited for the opportunity to compete against Florida State. We’ll be ready to go.”

This will be the seventh time in CU soccer history the Buffs have played the defending NCAA champion and the third year in a row. The Buffs have never won those matchups and were routed 7-0 on the road last year against the 2017 champs from Stanford.

“I don’t think we should go in thinking we’re going to win. I don’t think we should go in thinking we’re going to lose. I think we just need to go in saying we’re going to play with everything we have and get the most out of the game,” CU freshman Roo Yarnell-Williams said. “Obviously we want to win…and to show them what CU is made of.”

No. 24 CU Buffs soccer at No. 6 Florida State

GAME TIME: Friday, 5 p.m. MT, Seminole Soccer Complex, Tallahassee, Fla.

BROADCAST: TV — ACC Network.

RECORDS: Colorado 6-0; Florida State 4-2.

LEADERS: Colorado — Goals: F Roo Yarnell-Williams, 3; Assists: MF Taylor Kornieck, Sr., 3; Goalie: JJ Tompkins, Sr., .882 save percentage, 0.33 goals-against average. Florida State — Goals: F Deyna Castellanos, Sr., and MF Jaelin Howell, So., 3; Assists: Castellanos 4.

NOTES: This is the first of a home-and-home series that will bring FSU to Boulder in 2021. “It’s exciting for us to be in a position as a program where a program like Florida State wants to do a home and away,” CU coach Danny Sanchez said. “We struggle to find those home-and-away partners. Credit to some of these teams that are willing to come to Boulder.”…FSU has played in three of the past six national championship games, winning titles in 2014 and 2018…The Seminoles’ two losses occurred against Pac-12 foes on the road, with a 2-1 loss at No. 5 UCLA and a 3-2 loss at No. 3 USC…CU will be idle until it hosts Northern Colorado on Sept. 19 (3:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).