DENVER – The first match that the University of Denver and University of Colorado women’s soccer programs highlight on their calendars each year will kick-off at CIBER Field at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium on Friday at 7 p.m. MT. Friday is the 25th meeting between the two programs and follows the UC Irvine and Cincinnati match (4:30 p.m.) in the 2012 Denver Invitational.
In what has been a very streaky series, the Pioneers have won three of the last four meetings between the two squads. DU is 15-8-1 all-time against CU and 6-8-1 since the Buffs made women’s soccer a full-time varsity sport in 1996. In the last 15 meetings, 11 of the matches have been decided by a goal or less, including seven of the last eight.
Denver head coach Jeff Hooker, who is five matches into his 21st season with the Crimson and Gold, will coach in his 16th match of this rivalry on Friday.
“It has been a fantastic rivalry over the years,” Hooker said. “It is something we look forward to every year. There are so many different relationships that our players and their players have had [from their days in club soccer]. [They were] either playing on the same teams together, if they are from Colorado, or playing against each other. It adds a little bit to the rivalry.” Full Interview
Senior’s Kaitlin Bast (Centennial, Colo.), Kalie Vaughn (Fort Collins, Colo.), Lara Campbell (Anchorage, Alaska), Maria Khan (Aurora, Colo.) and Katy Van Lieshout (Boulder, Colo.) will play CU for the fourth time in their careers this Friday.
“Our team always says that the biggest game of the season is the next one,” Van Lieshout said. “However, there is a lot to be said about state pride and winning this game in particular. It’s going to be a competitive match. It always is.”
HIGH SCHOOL TEAMMATES NOW OPPONENTS
Smoky Hill High School: Denver sophomore defender Shelby Wesley (Aurora, Colo.) and sophomore midfielder Anna Willis (Centennial, Colo.) played for Smoky Hill with CU sophomore defender Bianca Jones.
Arapahoe High School: DU senior forward Kaitlin Bast (Centennial, Colo.) and CU senior midfielder Amy Barczuk were high school teammates, as well. Sophomore defender Sam Harder (Centennial, Colo.) and junior-transfer forward Laura Feehs (Centennial, Colo.) also played at Arapahoe.
Fairview High School: Sophomore midfielder Caitlin Higgins (Boulder, Colo.) and junior defender Cassidy Larson (Eldorado Springs, Colo.) played with CU freshman midfielder Nikola Machalek and junior forward Anne Stuller.
Over 20-percent of the players in Friday’s match played their club soccer for the Colorado Storm, including Denver junior defender Jessy Battelli (Golden, Colo.), junior midfielder Nicholette DiGiacomo (Golden, Colo.), junior forward Kristen Hamilton (Littleton, Colo.), junior midfielder Shannen Johnson (Golden, Colo.), Wesley and Higgins. In all, a combined 30 players from the two clubs are from the state of Colorado.
“Many of us have played with or against each other on club teams since we were 10 years old,” Van Lieshout said. “We have developed friendships on and off the field [with CU players], but we all understand the rivalry that this game represents.”
LAST THREE MEETINGS
2011: Denver 1, at Colorado 0 (Vaughn 7’)
Vaughn’s left-footed finish gave the Pioneers an early 1-0 lead at Prentup Field off assists from Hamilton and Bast. The Pioneers saw the game out, as CU tested a young Denver defense with 11 shots in the second half. Campbell made seven saves in the match.
2010: at Denver 2, Colorado 1 (Battelli 7’, Hughes 38’, DiGiacomo 90’)
Battelli opened the scoring for the Pioneers in the seventh minute of the match off a corner kick service from then freshman midfielder DiGiacomo. CU grabbed the equalizer in the 38th minute to draw the match level at one. Buffs freshman keeper Annie Brunner committed a foul in the box in the 90th minute and DiGiacomo knocked home the penalty to secure the 2-1 victory at CIBER Field. The match was played as a part of the 2010 DU Invitational.
2009: at No. 15 Colorado 1, Denver 0, 2OT (Marshall 109’)
For the second-consecutive season Denver made the trip to Prentup Field, but this time it was CU with the breakthrough in the 109th minute. CU dominated the statistics, outshooting DU 29-9, including 8-3 on goal. The Buffs took 17 corners in the match, compared to just one for the Pioneers. The match was played as part of the Colorado Women’s Soccer Classic.
Overall: Denver: 15-8-1, 51 goals; Colorado: 26 goals
In Denver: DU: 9-2-1, 30 goals; CU: 11 goals
In Boulder: DU: 6-6-0, 21 goals; CU: 15 goals
Overall: DU: 6-8-1, 14 goals; CU: 20 goals
In Denver: DU: 3-2-1, 6 goals CU: 8 goals
In Boulder: DU: 3-6-0, 8 goals CU: 12 goals
BY THE NUMBERS (since 1996)
Statistical Averages: Stat (DU, CU): Shots (9.8, 16.67) Shots on Goal (4.33, 7.8) Corners (3.93, 5.33) Fouls (12.0, 10.53). In 15 meetings, the series has seen 16 yellow cards and one red.
Superlatives: Earliest Goal: CU’s Katie Griffin (2’) in 2005 Latest Goal: CU’s Nikki Marshall (109’) in 2009 Hat tricks: DU’s Molly George in 2001 (12’,23’,26’) Most Combined Goals: Five in 1997, at Colorado 3,Denver 2 Shutouts: DU: 4 CU: 6 One Goal Games: 11