By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
BOULDER, Colo. - Colorado State (0-1-0) kicked off its second season with an intense rivalry match against Colorado as part of the Colorado Cup, but two second-half goals from the Buffs (1-0-0) saw the Rams come up short with a 2-0 result at Prentup Field.
"CU is very good," Head Coach Bill Hempen said. "Their intensity really went up in the second half, but we needed that. I would much rather face that now going into conference than for that show up in conference and us not be ready for it; we will be ready for that now."
For much of the match, the two rivals were deadlocked in a tough battle that looked like it could have gone either way. In the opening minutes, Colorado maintained possession of the ball for long stretches and tested the Colorado State defense early. As was the story for much of the day, the Rams' defense showcased their experience and were stout in the backline.
CSU settled down after the first 10 minutes of the match and began to mount some attacks of its own. In the 14th minute, freshman forward Janelle Stone earned the Rams a corner kick, which the Buffs had to scramble to turn away. Thanks to good defense and sharp goalkeeping from both sides, neither team was able to muster up any great scoring opportunities in the first 45 minutes, as the teams went into the intermission tied at 0-0.
Coming out of the halftime, CU came out an energized and desperate-looking team; relentlessly attacking and causing problems for Colorado State's defense. CSU's defense once again was up to the task, constantly providing cover for each other and frustrating CU's attackers.
The Buffs, who are receiving votes in the NSCAA Preseason Coaches Poll, looked primed to score in the 51st minute as Kahlia Hogg chipped the ball over a charging Jesse McGinley into an empty net. As CU looked ready to celebrate a goal, senior defender Jami Vaughn came from out of nowhere to clear the ball right off the line and keep the score tied at 0-0.
"Jami was pretty darn good today," "She was outstanding today. When you sign up to be a defender, you sign up to defend all the way to the end line. She controlled the defense."
In the 69th minute, the Rams came up with their most dangerous opportunity of the match, courtesy of senior defender Catherine Ruder. With the Buffs defense giving her plenty of space, Ruder lined up a left-footed shot from 30 yards out that appeared to beat the goalkeeper. The ball sailed just over the crossbar though.
Five minutes later, CU finally broke the scoreless match with a goal from sophomore forward Brie Hooks, who attacked from the right wing and guided a shot from 18 yards out that hit the crossbar and went in.
In the 79th minute, Colorado tacked on another one, this time from Brittney Stark, to seal the match at 2-0.
Despite the result, Hempen left the match feeling very confident about his bunch, noting the vast improvements that they have already made as such a young program.
"We competed, and that's really what we set out to do was raise the level of competition in our program," Hempen said. "We did that. I'm so pleased with the effort our kids gave and we'll move on from here."
The Rams will take the field next on Aug. 28 in their home-opener at 'The Lagoon' against Northern Colorado, another Colorado Cup opponent. The match will be a gold-out and is slated to kick off at 4 p.m. MT.
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