Phoenix, Ariz. (11/21/11)– The University of Colorado men’s club soccer team lost 2-0 to the University of California at Berkley in the round of 16. The loss to Cal was the Buffaloes first loss all season.
The tournament started off well for the Buffs’ who won their pool by drawing verses Texas 1-1 and then defeating Cal Poly 1-0. Senior Dan Whittle scored the game-winning goal against Cal-Poly.
The defending national champion Colorado Buffaloes advanced to the round of 16 to take on the California Golden Bears. The Bears drew first blood scoring on a set piece in the first half. Playing from behind, CU managed to create three quality chances in the second half but weren’t able to convert on any of them, including a penalty kick that would have changed the game dramatically. When the final whistle blew the score was 2-0 in favor of Cal.
“The loss against Cal Berkley is still tough to think about,” said head coach David Vaughan. “We were flat the entire game—plain and simple.”
The Buffs’ were put in an unusual spot after Cal scored in the first half. Colorado hadn’t lost a game the entire season going into the round of 16 and wasn’t used to playing from behind.
“It was one of the few times we’ve ever played from behind all year,” said Vaughan. “I thought we panicked in terms of maintaining possession and dictating the pace of the game. The energy we brought the night before when we won our group simply didn’t exist against Cal.”
Despite the early departure from nationals, the Colorado men’s club soccer team has a lot to be proud of. They had an undefeated regular season and won their region despite losing 15 players from their national championship winning team.
“When you consider the dramatic turnover we experienced I think our guys played extremely well this year,” said Vaughan on the team’s season. “We’re very young and still accomplished some great things this year including repeating as league champions and adding another Region V title to our résumé. This year’s seniors have done a great job laying the foundation for our younger freshmen and sophomores to take over in 2012. The future is definitely bright for CU men’s soccer.”
Webber State defeated Missouri in penalty kicks to win the 2011 NCCS National Championship.
For more information about CU men’s soccer visit their website at www.cumenssoccer.com