Cowgirls Win Front Range Derby In Dramatic Overtime Fashion

Oct. 2, 2011


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After a 40-minute weather delay to start the match, the University of Wyoming Cowgirl soccer team (8-4-2 overall, 1-0 MW) defeated the Northern Colorado Bears (4-6-2 overall), 2-1, in overtime to win the Front Range Derby. Cowgirl Sara Paul scored UW's two goals on the day, scoring the game winner in the 107th minute.

"This was a typical Derby against Northern Colorado and it could have gone either way," Cowgirl head coach Danny Sanchez said. "Their goal keeper was fantastic making some very nice saves. In the second overtime I thought we created some really good chances and we were able to get the game winner past Kirstin (Salminen)."

After starting the game 40 minutes late the Cowgirls came out in the first half putting offensive pressure on the Bears. Senior Kayla Davis took the first shot for UW 48 seconds in that went over the top of the UNC goal. Following a UW corner kick, junior Carmen Blume put the first shot on goal of the game that forced a save by UNC keeper Kirstin Salminen. The Cowgirls early offensive pressure paid off as they scored in the ninth minute of the game. Paul stole the ball from the UNC defense in the penalty area and kicked the ball low into the left corner of the net past Salminen. The goal was Paul's fifth of the season and it gave UW a 1-0 advantage. One minute later Davis put another UW shot on goal, but this time Salminen had the answer keeping the ball out. Northern Colorado's Alexsys Tamayo put their first shot on goal in the 13th minute, but Cowgirl keeper Courtney Merkle made the save. Wyoming and Northern Colorado battled for possession the next 25 minutes before UW managed another shot on goal. In the 40th minute freshman Kristin Howard put a shot on goal that forced a save from Salminen. Four minutes later Sheree Small put UW's next shot on goal with Salminen making another save.

In the second half, Northern Colorado came out the aggressor on offense putting in the equalizing goal five minutes in. On a Northern Colorado corner kick UNC's JJ Wykstra took the service and put a header shot past the outstretched hand of UW keeper Merkle. The score evened the game at 1-1. Paul put the Cowgirls first shot on goal of the second half in the 63rd minute forcing Salminen to make another save. Wyoming kept the offensive pressure on and put another shot on goal in the 70th minute, but again Salminen made the save. The Bears attempted to answer the UW pressure by putting their own shot on goal in the 80th minute, but Merkle was able to keep the ball out. In the final 10 minutes of regulation Cowgirls Allison Masumiya, Liz O'Reilly and Paul each put shots on goal with Salminen saving all three. When the 90th minute struck the Cowgirls and the Bears remained tied 1-1. The regulation tie forced sudden death overtime.

In the first overtime period UNC took three shots and put one on goal, but Merkle prevented the game winning goal. The Cowgirls could not manage a shot in the first overtime period, but both teams remained tied after the first sudden death period.

The second overtime saw dramatic action leading to the game winning goal by Paul. In the 106th minute, Davis put UW's first shot on goal forcing a save from Salminen. In the 107th minute, freshman Lucie McDowell won possession from the UNC defense passing the ball across the UNC penalty box to Paul. Paul received the McDowell pass and was one-on-one with Salminen putting the ball in the low right corner of the UNC goal for the game-winning goal for the Cowgirls. The goal was Paul's second goal of the day and her second multi-goal game of the season.

The Cowgirls outshot the Bears 22 to 11 in the game. The Cowgirls also put 13 shots on goal forcing Salminen to make 11 saves. The Cowgirl defense again played very stiff allowing four shots on goal forcing Merkle to make three saves. With today's victory the Cowgirls are now 7-2 all-time against Northern Colorado. On their eight-game home stand the Cowgirls recorded a 5-1-2 record. The Cowgirls are also on a seven match unbeaten streak with a 5-0-2 record. After missing the 2010 season due to injury redshirt senior Nicole Rice made her season debut in today's game.

"I am really proud that Nicole was able to make it out there today," Sanchez added. "I know it was limited minutes but it has been a long two years for her. Her being back is a lift for the whole team and for myself it really puts things in prospective."

Wyoming soccer will be off next weekend Oct. 7-9, before returning to action on Friday, Oct. 14 in Albuquerque, N.M. taking on the New Mexico Lobos with kickoff set for 5 p.m. MT.