Colorado soccer’s final regular season game turns up even

Buffaloes draw with Utah, putting NCAA tournament hopes on ice

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Three consecutive road contests to end the Pac-12 Conference schedule was never going to be easy for the Colorado soccer team. Turns out, the Buffaloes’ final threesome of games was on par with the entire 2021 season.

Win, lose and draw.

Colorado played to a 1-1 draw in its regular-season finale at Utah Friday afternoon in Salt Lake City, giving this CU team a 8-7-4 final regular season record, including a 3-4-4 final mark within the conference.

Utah (6-10-4, 1-7-3) broke the scoreless tie in the 9th minute thanks to a header from Kylee Geis. Colorado responded with a goal of its own in the 37th minute off the foot of Shyra James, with Phoenix Miranda playing the ball in for the assist.

“It wasn’t the start we wanted but I really like how we responded,” head coach Danny Sanchez said. “Phoenix [Miranda] wins the ball in the midfield and Shyra [James] bangs in a great goal. I thought we pressed them well and I thought everyone — especially the players off the bench — really brought a spark to us.”

Colorado had the edge in shots, 17-10, and had seven corners compared to just one for Utah. Dani Hansen had three saves for the Buffs.

The draw puts the Buffs’ NCAA Tournament hopes on the ropes. If this indeed is the last game for Sanchez’s seniors, he is proud of the work they have put in.

“It’s tough to play college soccer,” explained Sanchez after the match. “It’s tough to play for four years. Every single one of these players has been in college for five years — in Shanade [Hopcroft]’s case, six years. It’s tough. It’s mentally tough, physically tough and emotionally tough, and all four of these seniors left it all on the line.”

The NCAA selection show comes Monday at 2:30 p.m. MT.