DENVER – University of Denver women’s soccer player Kristen Hamilton (Littleton, Colo.) scored a pair of goals, including one with 1:10 remaining in the second overtime, as the Pioneers knocked off Northern Colorado on the first day of The Colorado Cup at CIBER Field on Friday evening.
“We were fortunate to get the win today against a good Northern Colorado team,” head coach Jeff Hooker said. “Look at our opening game at Loyola Marymount last year. I thought we played well and didn’t get a win. Today we got the win, but we played a little bit up and down.”
The Pioneers (1-0) had their chances in the second overtime, as sophomore midfielder Nicholette DiGiacomo (Golden, Colo.) fired three shots just off goal, including one of DU’s three strikes that hit the post in the match.
With the score knotted at one through nearly 109 minutes, sophomore midfielder Jessy Battelli (Golden, Colo.) sent a pass down field to the head of DiGiacomo, who flicked it on to the foot of Hamilton. The forward threaded through a pair of UNC defenders and fired a shot just inside the left post for the game-winner.
“In overtime we hit the post for the third time today, and then Nicholette (DiGiacomo) just had the perfect flick on to me,” Hamilton said. “I just took it down, had composure and finished it.”
Hamilton opened the scoring in the 35th minute. Junior forward Kalie Vaughn (Fort Collins, Colo.) dribbled the ball up the right side of the field before feeding junior forward Kaitlin Bast (Centennial, Colo.) in the middle of the field. Bast sent a through ball to the feet of Hamilton, who slid the ball past UNC goalkeeper Kirstin Salminen.
In the 80th minute, UNC’s Kimmie Feidler stole the ball from the DU defense, and fired a bullet from the top of the box into the upper left corner of the goal, giving the Bears (0-1) the equalizer.
Junior goalkeeper Maria Khan (Aurora, Colo.) made nine saves in just her fourth career start, stepping in for injured 2010 All-Sun Belt Conference First Team selection Lara Campbell (Anchorage, Alaska). UNC out-shot the Pioneers 20-17 in the contest.
In the early game, Colorado beat Colorado College 5-0.
The Colorado Cup moves to Prentup Field in Boulder, Colo., on August 21, when DU meets Colorado College at 12:30 p.m., and the Buffs host UNC at 3 p.m.
The Cup is a traveling trophy, which the winner will keep until the following season. The 2012 Colorado Cup is slated to be played in Greeley and Colorado Springs.
Each of the four programs will hold a clinic at their respective home fields for youth to attend on Saturday, August 20 with registration beginning at 10:30 a.m.