Photo: The DU Pioneers traveled to Prentup Field to take on the Colorado Buffalos in NCAA first round action.
Hannah Adler pushed a beautiful through pass to Leah Swander who calmly punched the ball past the Buffs goalkeeper to give DU a 1-0 lead (37:58). The advantage held until halftime. But DU could not hold off the stampeding Buffalos in the second half.
The Buffs came out on fire the first 15 minutes of the second half and seized control with two lighting quick goals at 49:34 (Megan Massey, CU) and 51:53 (Taylor Kornieck, CU) to take the advantage. They held the one goal advantage until the end of the game.
After the opening second half swoon, Denver regained their composure, particularly in the last 10 minutes of the second half. DU created several meaningful possessions and hit the bar on a shot (85:45 Leah Swander, DU) which would have tied the match. Denver, pushed around early in the second half, got physical with the Buffs and an animated Jeff Hooker even got a yellow card (64:01) – all good signs for a team which has regained their swagger over the past seven games.
The shots for the match were 6-5 with the advantage going to CU. However, the Buffs clearly had the most scoring opportunities and missed one point blank header that careened off the crossbar (57:31 Taylor Korniak, CU) and DU’s keeper, Brittany Wilson, made an incredible stop on a howitzer to the right corner of the goal from CU.
Congratulations and best of luck to CU. That being said, credit goes to DU as well. After a disappointing non-conference season, highlighted by a 6-1 thrashing by these same Buffs, they stuck together and played fighting soccer. A promising finish by a Pioneer squad that had something to prove.