Aug. 28, 2011
The Wyoming Cowgirl Soccer team (2-2 overall) evened up its season record with its second shutout of the weekend, defeating the Colorado Buffaloes (2-1 overall) 1-0, in Boulder, Colo., on Sunday. Cowgirl Sara Paul scored the game winning goal for UW in the 53rd minute.
"I was really pleased with how we defended today," Cowgirl head coach Danny Sanchez said. "We absorbed a lot of pressure from CU and limited their quality chances on goal."
The first half action began quickly between the Cowgirls and the Buffaloes with both teams taking six shots in the first 15 minutes of the game. Colorado applied the early pressure on UW as Kate Russell put the first shot on goal in the fifth minute forcing Cowgirl keeper Courtney Merkle to keep the ball out. Cowgirl Sydney Jones put UW's first shot on goal in the 14th minute, but CU keeper Annie Brunner had the answer keeping the shot out. Wyoming was able to take four more shots before the end of the first half, including two on goal, but neither shot got past Brunner. Colorado took seven more shots during the first half with just one on goal that was saved by Merkle. The teams remained tied as they went to the locker rooms for halftime.
The Cowgirls and the Buffaloes returned from the locker rooms to begin the second half tied at zero. Colorado started the second half hot taking three shots in the first eight minutes, but it could not get any on goal. The Cowgirls also started the second half hot as well, scoring on their first opportunity of the half. In the 53rd minute, Cowgirl Sara Paul stole a pass from CU keeper Brunner and kicked the ball past a CU defended into the back of the net. The score gave UW a 1-0 lead and was Paul's second goal of the season. The Paul goal was also the first goal scored against the Buffaloes in the 2011 season. The Buffs were able to take nine more shots before the end of the game, but the UW defense was up to the task not allowing a shot on goal the rest of the half. The Cowgirl defense sealed the 1-0 victory with its solid play in the final minutes of the second half.
"Sara's (Paul) goal gave us a lot of confidence in the second half," Sanchez said. "We really defended well the last 20 minutes of the game. The key to this match for us was our back four, they really played with a lot of confidence today."
In today's game, the Cowgirl Merkle and the UW defense recorded their second shutout of the weekend. The Buffs outshot the Cowgirls 22 to nine during the game. The UW defense allowed just three shots on goal during the game, with all three coming during the first half. The victory was also the first win for UW in Boulder in five tries.
"This was a good weekend for us," Sanchez added. "We had a tough weekend last weekend but we didn't hang our heads and came back with two shutouts. I think the key for us this weekend was our defense was very opportunistic."
Next up for the Cowgirls will be the final two games of their six game road trip. On Friday, Sept. 2, UW will travel to Pullman, Wash., to take the Washington State Cougars with kickoff set for 4 p.m. MT. Wyoming will then conclude its road trip by traveling to Cheney, Wash., for a match against the Eastern Washington Eagles on Sunday, Sept. 4 beginning at 5 p.m. MT.