BERKELEY, Calif. — With two seconds left in the second overtime period, Taylor Kornieck headed in a free kick from Stephanie Zuniga to give No. 22 Colorado a 3-2 win over No. 10 California on Sunday. It is the highest-ranked opponent CU has defeated since 2010.
The Buffaloes improved to 13-4 overall and 7-1 in the Pac-12, remaining in first place in the conference. Cal dropped to 12-2-2 and 5-1-2.
Kornieck's goal overshadowed a second-half brace by Danica Evans, her second in the past three matches.
WHAT HAPPENED: The first half was full of back-and-forth action, though Cal outshot CU 11-6. The Buffs had several chances in front of the net, including a shot by Kornieck that went inches wide in the fifth minute and a shot by Megan Massey in the 15th minute that was just high of the crossbar. In the 45th minute, Alex Vidger made a game-saving tackle, stopping a breakaway by sliding in from behind to push the ball away. Jalen Tompkins stopped her fourth shot of the half seconds later after Cal regained possession.
Evans scored her first goal in the 54th minute, dribbling around several defenders to get an open shot from the top of the box. She scored into the left side of the net from 20 yards out.
Seven minutes later, Evans took a pass from Emily Bruder, again near the top of the box, and this time fired with her left foot to give CU a 2-0 lead.
Moments later, Tompkins made a key diving save off a shot from the top of the box.
Things were good for the Buffs until the 88th minute. Following a corner kick, Maggie Bell scored to cut CU's lead to 2-1. Just a minute later, Ifeoma Onumonu took a ball in the center of the box and turned to get an open shot and beat Tompkins to tie it up at 88:45.
The first overtime period was wild, with Tompkins making two game-saving stops, the first leaping with one hand to push a shot over the bar and the second diving to make a save on a Cal breakaway. CU also had chances, including a counter after the breakaway and a shot in the 100th minute by Sarah Kinzner from inside the box that grazed the left side of the net.
The score remained 2-2 until a late foul in the final minute. With the clock ticking down the final 10 seconds, Zuniga rushed to take the free kick from near midfield and found the head of Kornieck in the box. It was the latest game-winning goal scored in CU history at 109:58.
NOTABLE PERFORMANCES: It was Evans's second two-goal match of her CU career and second this season. She has 12 points in the past four matches. Tompkins made nine saves to lead the defensive effort.
NOTES: CU had previously defeated three top-10 schools: 3-0 over No. 9 Denver (on the road) on Sept. 6, 2003; 1-0 over No. 10 Texas on Oct. 10, 2008; and 2-1 in overtime of No. 6 Texas A&M (on the road) on Sept. 24, 2010 … Onumonu's goal at 88:45 was the fourth-latest game-tying goal CU has even allowed … Kornieck now has six game-winning goals this season, one of Nikki Marshall's school record ... Kornieck moved back into a tie with Utah's Hailey Skolmoski for the conference lead in goals with 11 and Kornieck moved into the sole lead in points with 26 ... Evans is third in the Pac-12 in points and fifth in goals.
Danny Sanchez, head coach
On the match
"I thought we played well in the second half. Danica of course scored two great goals, but Cal was putting so much pressure on us. Like I told the team, to give up two late goals like that is really just a punch in the gut and it took us a few minutes to bounce back. I think the best thing that happened at that point was [regulation] ended and we were able to regroup in overtime. I thought in overtime, we just played them straight-up and we wanted to get the three points. Cal is such a great team and so dangerous. To get the late goal by Taylor on a great service from Stephanie is a fantastic result against a good team on the road."
On the play of the defense
"The four backs go 90 minutes against one of the top attacking teams in the country. You look at a player like Mikaela Kraus, who was running around with one leg on, but just gutted it out like a true Buff. Kelsey [Aaknes], Erin [Greening] and Alex Vidger--I'm just real proud of them. And Morgan Stantonis doing the work of two players in there. Part of our game plan was we wanted to press and we wanted to push numbers forward and Morgan just took on more work. I'm just really proud of our backs and JJ [Tompkins] made some great saves to keep us in it.
On the play of Evans
"Danica is just playing with a lot of confidence right now. Being a striker, it's about confidence and sometimes you're not going to get the goals, but obviously she was fantastic today."
On the play of Tompkins
"I don't know that there's much she could've done [on the two goals allowed], maybe on the corner kick she could've done a little bit better on. But at the end of the day, she made saves to keep us 0-0 and 2-0 and made a huge save against their top player in overtime. The game could've been over. It's a game that could've gone either way. I'm just really proud of how we battled to the end and what a great service from Stephanie and obviously Taylor [with her header] — just a special moment for her and the team."
Stephanie Zuniga, sophomore, midfielder
On playing in front of her family near her hometown (Pinole, California)
"There's no other feeling like it. It's just really exciting coming back home and especially to the Bay where I have all of my supporters--my family and my friends. It's really nice to come up big like that, especially for the team. It was a big fight. We fought to the end. Ten seconds winding down, I had to stay composed and put the ball where it had to go and it happened to fall in perfectly. Especially in front of the home crowd, like I said, it's an indescribable feeling--just really fun and really exciting. This whole time, I was just thinking to myself, 'I'm going to make something happen.' When you have that mentality, things happen."
On the chaos in the final seconds with the foul leading up to the goal
"Everything was happening so fast with the clock winding down and seeing 10 seconds left and people screaming at me to go, go, go. It was just really important to take a deep breath, stay composed and really place the ball right where they wanted it. And the target, especially in those situations, is Taylor because she's the tallest one and we know she makes things happen as well."