Photo: Courtesy of CUBuffs.com. CU celebrates their 6-1 victory at CIBER Field earlier this season
It was during the non-conference schedule when DU women’s soccer (11-8-1, 5-2-0) dropped six games and were outscored 18-4 in those losses. The most brutal loss, during the Colorado Cup on September 16th, occurred on CIBER Field soil where the visiting University of Colorado Buffalos blasted a disheartened Pioneer squad 6-1.
The collapse came in the second half after allowing two first-half tallies and a one-goal advantage to the Buffs. Said head coach Jeff Hooker following the match, “We didn’t really give her (goalkeeper Brittany Wilson) much help in the second half. A lot of the decisions our backs made weren’t decisions that they made in the first half. Colorado’s a good team, and they are going to punish you for mistakes.”
But, to their credit, DU women’s soccer kept improving as the season progressed.
Still, that 6-1 home field result has to be seared into the memory of this year’s squad. Until Monday, the highlight for Denver had to be winning the Summit League Championship against North Dakota State on their home field. But now, nothing would be sweeter than serving up some punishment to the Buffs in the rematch in Boulder.
On paper, it’s a mismatch with Colorado at #43 in the RPI and Denver sitting at #225. Denver still has something to prove, over and above making the NCAA playoffs and receiving a Summit League auto-bid.
And frankly, while it is exciting to have DU women’s soccer in the NCAA’s, they need to show that they can play on the same field with the Buffs – and that doesn’t necessarily mean that DU has to win the match. They need to play aggressive, mistake-free soccer to stay within striking distance of CU.
Getting to the dance is good. Now Denver has a chance to show everyone that they belong.