BOULDER — The No. 20 Colorado women's soccer team handed No. 7 Washington State its first loss of the season on Thursday. The Buffs scored two early goals and held on for the 3-1 win at Prentup Field.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Buffs found the net before anybody had time to find their seats.
Colorado (10-0-3, 2-0-2) got an early corner kick to open in the offensive zone. Senior Erin Greening took the set piece for Colorado, sailing a perfect ball into the goal box. Junior Taylor Kornieck went up and headed the ball inside the far post, giving CU the lead at the 1:22 mark.
The Buffs got on the board again in the 12th minute, gaining a 2-0 lead before Washington State could muster a shot. Colorado's second goal came off an opportunity created by junior Tatum Barton. Barton dribbled in on WSU goalkeeper Rachel Thompson, The WSU keeper came out and slid, blocking Barton's shot, but could not gain control of the ball. Junior Jorian Baucom was the first to the ball. She side-stepped Thompson and put the ball past the scrambling defenders into the net.
RELATED: Only two undefeated men's soccer teams remain
Colorado held the 2-0 lead after the first 45 minutes, but it was not without a challenge. Washington State took the momentum from Colorado in the late portion of the half. The Cougars registered 10 first-half shots, with zero shots on goal.
Junior Jalen Thompkins was tested early on for CU in the second half. A WSU corner in the 53rd minute led to chaos in the goal box. The Buffs survived the scramble with save from Tompkins and a rebound attempt that hit off the post.
Washington State (10-1-0, 3-1-0) caught a break in the 58th minute. Morgan Weaver ran down the ball inside the box and put it past Tompkins, narrowing the CU lead to 2-1.
The two teams battled the entire day, keeping the officials busy. Each side was awarded two yellow cards and combined for a total of 31 fouls.
Colorado, feeling the pressure, got a boost at the boost off the foot of Megan Massey in the 82nd minute. She got a one-on-one look against Thomas at the top of the six. Thompson made the save on Massey's first shot, but the senior followed her shot and put the rebound past Thompson and three WSU defenders.
KEY STATISTIC: It had been almost two years since Colorado defeated a ranked opponent. Washington State entered the day at No. 7 in the nation. The win over WSU is Colorado's first since defeating No. 9 UCLA back on Oct. 27, 2016 (1-0)
UP NEXT: The Buffs stay home on Sunday for a televised contest against Washington. It is Alumni Weekend as well as Soctober Fest. Fans will receive vouchers for a free pint glass after the game while supplies last. The game is set for a 1:05 p.m. kickoff.
Notes: Washington State was the last remaining team in DI to not suffer a loss…WSU (No. 7) is the highest ranked team the Buffs have beaten since the team's overtime win over No. 5 Texas A&M in 2010…the win is the 34th of Tompkins' career, good for second in program history…Kornieck's goal was the fastest this season and the third fastest in program history…Kornieck now has 22 career goals, tied for fifth in program history…she is now tied for fourth in program history with 61 career points…Baucom's goal was her ninth of the season…Massey's goal was her second.
Head coach Danny Sanchez
On overall performance
"Any coach wants to get off to a good start. We knew this was going to be a huge game against Washington State. Sometimes with attention to details, you come out and are just a little bit sharper. I thought we started well but then I thought we were fortunate to get out of the last 15-20 minutes of the half at 2-0. I thought we defended well. They have really dangerous attackers. Morgan Weaver is a top Pac-12 striker. I was concerned about the first 15 minutes of the second half and that came to fruition. We came under a ton of pressure They got a well-earned goal and we got lucky on a couple of others. Having said that, I think we had some good chances as well. The key to the game was that third goal. That put it to bed. They are a great team. They are coached well and they will be an NCAA Tournament team. So it was a good win for the Buffs."
On the impact of the win
"It does not get any easier. Our focus now turns to Washington. We are pleased to get the win obviously, but we know that every game is going to be a battle like this. We got a couple breaks in front of the goal and sometimes you make your own breaks. I thought we were very clinical in the final third."
Junior Taylor Konrieck
On Pac-12 play
"This was our first real test and we passed it. I think as a team we do well when we score early. We get in that mindset and we want to keep scoring. I feel like that is just our mindset."