The Colorado Buffaloes women’s soccer team (5-0) hosted Baylor (3-0-1) to close out their six game home stand to begin the season. The Buffs looked to extend their winning streak to six and remain undefeated, while the Bears hoped to continue their success away from home following a 2-0 shutout victory over Wyoming. Both teams sat just outside the top 25 according to the United Soccer Coaches poll coming into the matchup
Last time out, Colorado defeated Austin Peay 2-0 in what was the 100th career win for the Buffs at Prentup Field and the third shutout in the first five games for CU.
A fast-paced and physical match throughout, both teams generated solid chances early. Freshman midfielder Roo Yarnell-Williams scored her third goal of the season at the 15-minute mark off assists from senior midfielder Taylor Kornieck and junior defender Gabbi Chapa to give the Buffs a 1-0 lead.
Yarnell-Williams talked about the fast pace and the energy the Buffs came out with in the beginning to ultimately give Colorado the lead. The freshman generated multiple offensive chances for the Buffs throughout the matchup.
“I just wanted to win,” Yarnell-Williams said. “These players are a lot more aggressive than any of the teams we have played against so far. So, I just came out knowing that I had to get the ball off my foot early in order to a, stay safe and b, make something happen on the field. Honestly, our whole team, we totally sped up the game and I think that’s what put them on their heels and got us the win.”
Chapa made an excellent cross after receiving a pass from Kornieck, which ultimately set up Yarnell-Williams for the game’s only goal. Yarnell-Williams talked about the play following the victory.
“It definitely just started from the middle,” Yarnell-Williams said. “Taylor played out a great ball out wide to Gabi. She looked up and opened her hips up and Gabi and I just made eye contact and I knew it was going to go in from that moment. It was a beautiful ball in, beyond perfect actually, I don’t think it could’ve gotten any more on target.”
With the assist on the Yarnell-Williams’ goal, Kornieck took sole possession of third place on Colorado women’s soccer all-time points list with 79 points, passing former Buff Katie Griffin. Kornieck is also tied for second on CU’s all-time assists list.
Baylor had a great chance to score at the 69-minute mark when redshirt freshman midfielder Maddie Algya drilled a shot toward the top right corner, only to be saved by leaping senior goalkeeper Jalen “J.J” Tompkins.
Head coach Danny Sanchez came into the game expecting a physical match. The game included four yellow cards and a combined 21 fouls. Sanchez talked about Baylor’s physical play.
“Baylor plays a style that got them to two straight elite eight’s and they’re a handful,” Sanchez said. “But you can also see the quality of their players. So, we knew it’d be a bit of a fist fight, like I told the team, I was super proud of them for competing. We scored the one goal, but after that we really competed. And the 50-50 (balls) were 50-50’s. The 50-50’s couldn’t be 70-30’s them because then they would’ve won the game.”
A save by Tompkins in the last minute secured the Buffs first 6-0 home stand in program history. Next up Colorado will head to Tallahassee for a Thursday night game with the sixth ranked and defending national champions, Florida State Seminoles on Sept. 12.
Yarnell-Williams talked about the importance of winning the mental game against No. 6 Florida State.
“I don’t think we should get in our heads,” Yarnell-Williams said. “I don’t think we should go in thinking we’re going to win. I don’t think we should go in thinking we’re going to lose. I think we just need to go in saying we’re going to play with everything we have and get the most out of the game.”
The matchup with the Seminoles will be the Buffs toughest test to date and will take 90 minutes of focus and intensity. Catch the game from the Seminole Soccer complex in Tallahassee on Thursday evening at 5 P.M. MST.