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Buffs claim first Colorado Cup

August 21, 2011 | 6:12 pm 3
By Shaun Schafer

The University of Colorado piled up eight goals in two matches, notched two shutouts and claimed ownership of the inaugural Colorado Cup on Sunday.

The Buffaloes (2-0-0) handed the Northern Colorado Bears (0-2-0) a 3-0 loss on Sunday afternoon at Prentup Field in Boulder to claim the cup. The win at home came after CU shredded Colorado College 5-0 at the University of Denver’s CIBER Field on Friday.

In the other Colorado Cup match Sunday at Prentup, DU (2-0-0) overcame a spirited Colorado College (0-2-0) side 2-1. Colorado and DU finished with two wins, but CU scored more goals (8 to 4) over the weekend to break the tie.

CU head coach Bill Hempen was an instrumental part in starting the tournament. He feels the Colorado Cup did its job in encouraging youth players around the state to aspire to play college ball.

“I’m so happy. It’s been a dream of mine. I couldn’t do it without the coaches of the other teams,” he said. “It couldn’t have been any better. And obviously with us winning, I’m pretty darn happy.”

Colorado opened the game showing its quick players up top. Hayley Hughes created a great scoring opportunity with her speed, breaking away from the UNC defense just 15 minutes into the first half. She was robbed by Northern Colorado keeper Kirstin Salminen, but it was hard to miss her blazing down the sidelines. Hempen acknowledged her ability to accelerate will serve the team well as it moves into a new Pac-12 Conference.

“Everybody’s got a ‘Hayley’ in the Pac-12. Probably three or four of them, if not more. Having her a part of this is going to help that transition,” Hempen said.

After a hard shot from Erin Bricker in the final four minutes of the half, UNC’s defense failed to clear the ball and instead left Clare Madden able to play an open pass to senior Kate Russell for a CU goal. This was Russell’s first goal of the season after leading the Buffs in points — three goals and five assists — in 2010.

The Buffs found the back of the net again early in the second half. Caroline Danneberg passed to Anne Stuller who drove hard to the net, forcing Salminen out of her box. Rather than taking the shot, Stuller played a selfless ball to a wide open Hughes who scored for the second time this weekend. Hughes two goals during the Colorado Cup made her just one shy of her total goals scored during the entire 2010 season (three goals last year tied her as CU’s leading scorer).

CU freshman Darcy Jerman also scored her second goal of the season, after Shaye Marshall froze the Bears defense with her fast feet. The extra time gave her a chance to serve the ball to Jerman who put the game away 3-0.

DU Battles: In the day’s first contest, the Pioneers weathered the early storm from the Tigers and opened the scoring in the 25th minute, as Kristen Hamilton assisted on the Pioneers’ opening goal.

“I’m just going out there and trying to find ways to keep helping my team win,” Hamilton said of her two goals and two assists this weekend.

Hamilton won a tackle and got the ball behind the Tigers defense, putting junior Kalie Vaughn in a position to beat her mark and drive the ball past CC keeper Hannah Berglund.

Denver would find the back of the net a second time in the first half, this time off of a quickly taken free kick. Freshman defender Sam Harder got onto the ball after the referee’s whistle and played the ball a few yards down the field to the attacking Hamilton. The sophomore forward sent a cross into the box for a Stephanie Woo volley and goal.

CC finally got on the board in the 52nd minute.  Freshman midfielder Kaeli Vandersluis served the corner in the six yard box, and found the head of sophomore defender Katie Uyenishi to pull the Tigers within one. That was a close as it would get.

For DU, Maria Khan finished with seven saves, coming off a nine save performance against UNC on Friday.

Coming Up: Colorado next hosts Wyoming at Prentup Field on Aug. 28. DU will host Nebraska at CIBER Field on Thursday. Colorado College travels to Utah State for a Friday match. UNC goes on the road, too, to face Jacksonville on Friday.

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  • george tanner said:

    kate russell = awesomeness!

  • george tanner said:

    go buffs!

  • Shaun Schafer (author) said:

    As you know, my 4 year old agrees with you. He is a Kate Russell fan.

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