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Disappointing season ends for CU Buffs soccer with Senior Day draw against Utah

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Prentup Field might not be the same without Kayleigh Webb.

The Colorado women’s soccer team ended a strange and disappointing season on Friday with a Senior Day celebration capped by a 2-2 draw against Utah. The Buffaloes recognized seven departing seniors in a pregame ceremony but none of those players — and no other player in program history — took the field for CU more frequently than Webb.

Webb returned this year to take advantage of the extra season of eligibility granted by the NCAA for the 2020-21 pandemic season, and with Friday’s finale Webb completed the remarkable feat of starting every game for the Buffs for five full seasons.

Webb started all 98 games of her career, breaking the CU records for appearances by a field player (formerly 92 by Nikki Keller) and starts by a field player (formerly 91 by Laura Munnelly). Webb also achieved that feat by filling a number of roles for the Buffs, playing defense and in the midfield earlier in her career before moving to forward this season. She responded by posting career-highs of six goals and three assists.

“I’m so proud, but it’s not for me. It’s the whole team. They’re the ones that have pushed me to be able to play every single game, to start every single game, my five full years,” Webb said. “The coaches, the training staff, strength and conditioning, my team, they’re the ones that push me to get out on the field. It really goes out to everyone. It’s not just one player.

“I’m so thankful I could play every position, and I think that’s what I’m going to take from this experience. Not everyone gets to play center back, holding mid, outside mid, attacking, forward, center. It’s not one moment I’m proud of. It’s all of the little moments that mean more.”

Two teams that entered the finale struggling offensively — Utah had not scored a goal in five straight games, and CU had been shut out in four of the previous five — combined for three first-half goals.

Utah struck first on a goal by Katie O’Kane in the 20th minute, but the Buffs answered just 87 seconds later when Civana Kuhlmann flicked home a header off a corner kick from Jenny Beyer. CU (8-7-5, 2-6-3 Pac-12) held a 2-1 lead at halftime after a goal by freshman Emerson Layne in the 42nd minute, but for the second time in three games the Buffs allowed a saved penalty kick to turn into a rebound goal, with Utah’s Haley Farrar scoring the equalizer in the 67th minute.

“I thought all seven (outgoing seniors) really, really performed and did well and gave us a chance to win,” said CU head coach Danny Sanchez, whose club ended the year on a six-game winless streak (0-4-2). “It was just a little unfortunate on the penalty rebound. But maybe it kind of sums up our season a little bit.”

Notable

CU’s five draws this year were the most in program history…All seven of the outgoing seniors started, including Allie Palangi and Alyssa Duke, both of whom started for the first time this season…Kuhlmann’s goal was her 12th of the year, tying Taylor Kornieck (2019), Jorian Baucom (2018), and Katie Griffin (2005) for the second-most in team history. Kuhlmann finished with 30 points, which also tied Kornieck and Baucom for the second-most in program history…Despite the late-season scoring slump, the Buffs’ 42 goals this season matched the 2006 team for the fourth-most in program history.

Utah 2, Colorado 2

Utah           1    1 — 2

Colorado    2    0 — 2

Goals — Utah: O’Kane (Blaylock, Brown), 20th minute; Farrar (unassisted), 67th minute. Colorado: Kuhlmann (Beyer), 21st minute; Layne (Allen, Miranda), 42nd minute.

Goalies (Min.-goals allowed-saves)Utah: Vitali (90-2-4). Colorado: Hansen (90-2-8).

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