The Buffaloes’ win improves their record to an impressive 13-0-1 on the season.
The first half started off slow, with both teams playing tentatively. That all changed when Colorado junior Matt Hammett found the back of the net with 19 minutes remaining. The play was set up by a great cross by senior Dan Whittle, who put the ball on Hammett’s foot five yards from the goal. Minutes later, the Buffs’ seemed to have scored another goal, but the referee ruled that the player was offside. After the offside call Colorado State played more aggresive. With nine minutes left CSU had a breakaway that looked like a sure goal. Colorado’s senior goalie Dirk Van Curan was able to come out of the net and make a great diving save to preserve the Buffaloes 1-0 lead.
“The ball was slotted through so I knew I had to come out and make a play,” said Van Curan on his save. “The kid came in with his cleats up, it should have been a yellow, but I was just happy to get a piece of it.”
The Rams’ continued to attack the rest of the first half but were unable to score a goal. The whistle sounded and the Buffs’ went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
Colorado struck early in the second half behind a great offensive effort from Whittle. The senior forward was able to weave his way through the defense and then rip a low shot into the corner past the Colorado State keeper.
“I’m an offensive minded player so when I get the ball I look to attack,” said Whittle. I saw space open up in the middle so I just took off, found and opening, and was able to finish.”
Down 2-0, the Rams’ stepped up their pressure and we’re finally able to score with 22 minutes remaining in the game. After the goal CSU had all the momentum, but the Buffs’ were able to stay composed and continued to play their game. With five minutes left in the game sophomore Landon Roos scored off an assist from Luke Woodruff. The goal would prove to be the game winner. In extra time CSU an inconsequential goal on a free kick. The final whistle blew with the score 3-2 in favor of Colorado.
The Buffaloes will head to Phoenix, Ariz. on Nov. 16 for nationals. Colorado won nationals last year, defeating Missouri 3-1 in the championship game.
“We won last year so there’s going to be some pressure,” said Whittle on nationals. “The competitions going to be high so we are going to have to be on our game. This team is loaded with talent though, and we’ll be ready for nationals.”
For more information on CU men’s soccer visit their website at www.cumenssoccer.com