Buffs settle for a draw at No. 15 Washington State
PULLMAN, Wash. — The Colorado Buffaloes left Lower Soccer Field with their first Pac-12 point of the season on Thursday night, following the 1-1 draw against No. 15 Washington State.
Colorado (6-2-3, 0-1-1) scored the first goal of the night for Civana Kuhlmann, but WSU added the equalizer in the 78th minute. Neither team would be able to break the tie down the stretch.
Washington State (7-1-2, 1-0-1) largely outscored Colorado, 39-8. The 39 shots allowed is the most by an opponent this season and the most shots the Buffs have faced since 39 at UMass in 1997. Colorado goalie Dani Hansen was credited with eight saves in the evening.
“I told the team after the game that I was proud of how they competed for 90 minutes,” the head coach said. Danny Sanchez said after the game. “We defended well. Washington State had a lot of shots but not a lot of clear looks. When they did, Dani [Hansen] dealt with them. Looking ahead, we still need to be able to create more on the road in a difficult environment, but that’s always a good point against a top-15 team in difficult conditions.”
The Cougars were relentless in the second half, firing 22 shots, but struggled to get clear attempts on Hansen. The CU defense held firm in the soggy conditions, helping to keep the aggressors at bay.
“Washington State is very dangerous,” Sanchez added. “They have a lot of great attacking players. Hannah Cardenas, Phoenix Miranda, Rachel Rosen, Lawson Willis and Jayden Newkirk were all fantastic at the back. Hannah Sharts and Jade Babcock Chi also gave a few minutes there, but I especially want to congratulate Phoenix and Hannah [Cardenas]. I think they really competed for 90 minutes and gave us a chance to get a result on the road.”
The game became controversial after the WSU goal. Cougars scorer Bridget Rieken clearly contacted Hansen as she tried to make a play on the ball. Moments later, Kuhlmann had his own collision with the WSU goaltender, much to the Cougars’ anger.
How did it happen
The Buffs wasted no time getting on the board, scoring in the 11th minute. Kayleigh Webb delivered his second assist of the season, directing the ball towards Kuhlmann at the top of the penalty area. Kuhlman swerved to his left and shook off his defender, striking with his left foot into the far right of the net.
The score stood at 1-0 for the remainder of the half, despite CU being outscored 17-5. Hansen did most of his work in the opening 45 minutes with five saves, including a diving save in the closing minutes, to keep the lead intact.
“It was a tough environment with rain all game and slippery grass,” Sanchez explained. “It’s tough for the sitters and she coped with everything she needed.”
The Buffs held off WSU’s aggressive onslaught for most of the second half, holding the 1-0 lead until the 77th minute.
Rieken equalized in the 78th minute, putting the ball in the net with Hansen flat on the ground after the collision.
“The goal was a collision with their striker who squirted a bit,” commented Sanchez. “It was bad luck, but to be fair, Washington State was putting pressure on us. I was happy with how we reacted after that, especially the last five minutes of the game. I think that we were playing on the front foot and at least created half chances to kind of kill the game.”
Juliauna Hayward had a one-on-one chance and saw their defender beaten in midfield, before being pulled to the ground. The head official whistled the play but ruled a handball had occurred before the pulldown, reversing the pitch and returning the ball to WSU late in the contest.
“We needed to get a result tonight and we got one,” Sanchez concluded. “It doesn’t get any easier on Sunday. Washington knocked out Utah tonight, they’re at home on Sunday. We just need to take advantage of these next few days to rest, recover and start focusing on them and hopefully get three points on Sunday.”
The Buffs will wrap up the trip to Seattle on Sunday. Kickoff against the Huskies is scheduled for 2 p.m. MT.
CU is now 2-3-1 all-time at Pullman… Kuhlmann’s goal was her eighth of the season and the most since scoring nine as a freshman at Stanford in 2017… She also has 20 points on the season (8 G, 4 A), also the most since his 2017 season… Webb’s assist was the sixth of his career and his 23rd career point… Hansen now has 192 saves in three seasons at CU and 209 overall .