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Longhorns eliminate Buffs in Big 12 opener

November 4, 2009 | 10:41 pm No comments
By George Tanner

The University of Colorado soccer team’s season come to an end after a 1-0 double-overtime loss to Texas in the first round of the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday in San Antonio.

Texas came out with a spark in the game’s second overtime, and Erica Campanelli headed a shot with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left that hit the crossbar and bounced back into play. Courtney Goodson was on the receiving end of the deflection and sent a square ball in the box to Hannah Higgins, who volleyed the ball over the head of CU goalkeeper Kara Linder and into the back of the net.

The Buffs finished with a 9-10 overall record. The Longhorns improved to 9-8-3 and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament.

Colorado’s best opportunity to score came in the second half. In the 72nd minute, junior forward Amanda Foulk received a through-ball in the box and fired a hard shot, but Texas goalkeeper Alexa Gaul came off her line and was able to make the save.

The last time the Buffs faced the Longhorns in the Big 12 tournament, the game was decided on penalty kicks after a 110-minute battle in the opening round in 2007. Wednesday’s game marked the ninth overtime game that Colorado has forced in the past six years at the conference tournament.

“The game was kind of the epitome of our season,” Coach Bill Hempen said. “We played well to a certain point. But when it meant the most, we were unable to execute, and that was ultimately our downfall.”

Texas outshot Colorado 23-15.

Buffaloes senior standout Nikki Marshall wraps up her college career as the all-time leader in points (93), goals (42) and winning goals (18). Marshall has also tallied more shots than any other player in the program (261).

Linder leaves CU with a 0.97 goals against average, good for third in program history, and she sits at No. 6 in total saves with 126.

2009 marks the first time in seven seasons that Colorado has not advanced to the NCAA tournament, and it’s the first time since 2001 that CU did not tally at least 10 wins.

“I’m very disappointed,” Hempen said. “This will be the first year in the last seven years that we won’t make the NCAA tournament, and it’s very disappointing.”

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