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CU Buffs soccer gets offense going to beat UNC

Freshman Shyra James has goal and assist in win

  • BOULDER, CO - February 11, 2021: Colorado's Libby Geraghty, left, and UNC's Lindsi Jennings, try to control the corner kick. The Colorado Buffaloes hosted the UNC Bears on February 11, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO - February 11, 2021: Colorado's Gabbi Chapa tracks down the ball in front of the UNC defender. The Colorado Buffaloes hosted the UNC Bears on February 11, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO - February 11, 2021: Colorado's Shyra James takes a shot at the goal but it is blocked by UNC's Morgan Bury. The Colorado Buffaloes hosted the UNC Bears on February 11, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO - February 11, 2021: Colorado's Libby Geraghty, left, and UNC's Lindsi Jennings, try to control the corner kick. The Colorado Buffaloes hosted the UNC Bears on February 11, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO - February 11, 2021: Colorado's Jade Babcock-Chi and UNC's Melina Faris look fro control of the ball. The Colorado Buffaloes hosted the UNC Bears on February 11, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO - February 11, 2021: Colorado head coach, Danny Sanchez. The Colorado Buffaloes hosted the UNC Bears on February 11, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO - February 11, 2021: Colorado's Gabbi Chapa keeps the ball from UNC's Gabby Costain. The Colorado Buffaloes hosted the UNC Bears on February 11, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO - February 11, 2021: Colorado's Shyra James and UNC's Maddie Duran on the header. The Colorado Buffaloes hosted the UNC Bears on February 11, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

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It took a while for the Colorado women’s soccer team to score its first goal of the season.

It didn’t take long to add a couple more.

On Thursday, freshman Shyra James had a goal and an assist and the defense was stellar as the Buffaloes rolled past Northern Colorado, 3-0, at Prentup Field.

“Pleased with the result,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “Northern Colorado is a very good team; they’re the favorites in the Big Sky, and we knew it’d be a game like this and we’re glad to get the result.”

CU (2-0) knocked off Denver, 1-0 in overtime on Saturday, but it took an own goal to get the win. After a scoreless first half Thursday, the Buffs finally broke through when Hannah Sharts scored off a corner kick in the 68th minute.

In all, it took more than 164 minutes to get the first goal of the season. About nine minutes later, James added the first goal of her career. Three minutes after that, Jesse Loren took an assistant from James and drilled a laser into the upper left corner.

“I feel like for us to be able to finally put a goal in the back of the net, not that we relax, but we’re like, ‘OK, we got this’ and then that’s kind of when we started racking them up,” said Loren, a junior who scored her second career goal, and her first since 2018.

“I saw Shyra dribbling across the goal and then I saw a perfect opportunity for her to lay it off. I called for the ball and she laid it off perfectly so I could get it first time. I’m just thinking, ‘Just get over the ball and put it on frame,’ so that’s what I did. I was pretty happy about it.”

So was Sanchez, who wasn’t too worried about a slow start offensively.

“Offense is kind of a thing that takes a while to click,” he said. “You think about it, this our second game in 15 months and we’re playing against a good team that has experienced defenders.”

Sanchez credited UNC for putting a lot of pressure on the ball in the first half, while the Buffs were impatient on offense. Overall, CU had 19 shots, with 10 on goal.

“The second half, I want to give credit to the players because the movement was better, we created a lot of good chances and scored three really good goals,” he said. “I’m pleased with that, but a lot of work to do as we head towards conference play.”

Defensively, CU recorded a second consecutive shutout, holding the Bears (0-1) to just five shots, with none on goal.

Megan Short, competing for the starting job at goalkeeper, got her first career start and played well overall. Dani Hansen got the win and shutout in the opener against DU.

“I thought (Short) was solid,” Sanchez said. “This is her fourth semester here and the first time she actually got in a game. I thought she did well and we’re pleased that she was able to get the shut out for us.”

Sanchez mixed up his lineup with four new starters, and 20 players saw at least 10 minutes of action against UNC.

“I think it’s a good thing to see different people in the lineup because we have a really deep team this year,” Loren said. “Any goalie can start, any goalie can play. We just have such a deep team that it’s not going to be the same people every week.”

Notes

CU is 11-0 all-time against the Bears, outscoring them 33-0. … James had four shots, with three on goal, while Roo  Yarnell-Williams had three shots, with two on net. … CU had a 10-4 edge in corner kicks. … The Buffs’ next scheduled game is Feb. 20 at Prentup Field against Weber State.

Colorado 3, Northern Colorado 0

N. Colorado (0-1)                   0          0          –           0

Colorado (2-0)                        0          3          –           3

Goals (assists) – CU, Hannah Sharts (Kayleigh Webb, Jenny Beyer), 67:30; CU, Shyra James (Lawson Willis), 76:33; CU, Jesse Loren (James), 79:42. Goalies (Min-GA-Sv) – UNC: Morgan Bury (90-3-7); CU: Megan Short (90-0-0).