The University of Colorado soccer team came up big in a must-win situation against No. 17 Arizona State on Sunday.
Sophomore Alyssa Duke notched her first collegiate goal and freshman Shyra James added insurance, giving the Buffs a 2-0 decision at Prentup Field.
“It was a big win today for the Buffs,” head coach Danny Sanchez explained after the match. “You can see the quality of Arizona State. Their attacking players are deployed all over the field. We felt that we had to run at them and sub a lot. I thought that was the key to the match. When we brought players off the bench, the level [of play] didn’t drop and in some cases, it actually went up. This puts us in a very good position to have everything to play for next weekend against Utah.”
One of the key subs on Sunday was Duke. She appeared in just her fifth match of the season and had only played 54 minutes before Sunday. Duke was brought in in the 30th minute and scored five minutes later, finishing the first half with 15 minutes on the pitch.
“We’ve had some injuries throughout the season,” Duke noted. “Different people have had to step up and I was excited that this weekend was one of my opportunities to step up. Everyone’s been playing well, filling into their roles, no matter what that role is.”
CU had pushed the pace of play early in the first half, totaling six shots in the first 28 minutes but had nothing to show for it. A corner chance in the 34th minute was the break the Buffs needed, allowing CU to take full control of the match midway through the first half.
James put the cherry on top for the Buffs early in the second half, netting her fifth goal of the season in the 48th minute. CU goalkeeper Dani Hansen finished with five saves to finish off her seventh shutout of the year.
Colorado (8-5-2, 4-4-2 Pac-12) pulls even with Arizona State (8-4-2, 4-3-2 Pac-12) with 14 points in the standings.
Colorado 2, No. 17 Arizona State 0
ASU 0 0 — 0
CU 1 1 — 2
Goals — Colorado: Duke (Hopcroft), 35th minute; James (Webb), 48th minute. Saves — ASU: Cascapera 3; Colorado: Hansen 5.