DU Women still have much to prove to themselves and CU

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.

5 thoughts on “DU Women still have much to prove to themselves and CU”

  1. That’s a huge RPI gap, so nobody should expect an upset here. As you implied, the expectations here are low. The victory for the Pioneers is just to play their best game and not get humiliated by CU.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This game will be closer than you think Puck & 5B, and it is absolutely a winnable game for DU. It is the NCAA’s and these teams have a long history together, so anything can happen. The result in September was uncharacteristic given the history between these two teams. Going back to 2013, and this yea’s match notwithstanding, DU won 3-0 in 2013, then lost 1-0 in 2014, 2015, & 2016 in double overtime. That puts DU’s Goals-For/Goals-Against vs.CU at 4 and 4 in that period. Having watched both teams closely this fall, CU will try to be very disciplined in defense, and they will be direct in the attack as always. They are very athletic but predictable. DU is less athletic in some areas, but play a more dynamic possession-based style – a style that always poses problems for CU when they play dynamic teams. If DU can get an early goal as they have consistently done to teams all season, and stay very disciplined defensively to stop CU’s direct style, they very well could get a 1-0 result like cddunks said. That 6-1 shellacking will be on the minds of both teams, but DU has the mental edge because 1) CU will overlook them, and 2) DU will work their asses off to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for checking in TG. I really think DU can compete with CU but they are going to have to play their best game of the season. I hope you are right!

      Like

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