BOULDER, Colo. -- The Bears were looking for their groove early Sunday but couldn't find it as the Pioneers won the second match of the Colorado Cup, 3-0.
"We fought hard and had a chance here and there against the 25th ranked team in the country," Barrera said. "Playing two good teams (Denver and Colorado) we realize we have to play quicker, quicker decision making."
Sophomore Morgan Rynearson recorded the first shot on the day three minutes into the match. The Bears plan was to use counter attacks from shots. The team had two good scoring opportunities, but only Rynearson's shot counted.
After saving the Bears' only first half shot, the Pioneers controlled the shot total for the rest of the half. Denver's 2012 Third Team All-American Kristen Hamilton scored the first of the team's three goals almost 42 minutes in. The 1-0 score stood into halftime.
"The game opened up [after halftime] and we found a lot of space," Barrera said. "We had some juice in the tank and got down the field with the open space."
The pace after halftime brought more shot opportunities for the Bears. including a potential game-tying shot from freshman Makayla McBride. The shot, though, was one of four saves from the Pioneers' freshman goalkeeper Cassidy Rey.
Less than two minutes later, Hamilton showed why she was the 2012 All-Summit League Offensive Player of the Year when she went on the offensive again and scored for the second time.
Freshman Katherine Day later showed up with the Bears' best scoring chance in the 70th minute. Rey made a nice save in front of the net to preserve the shutout. Denver's Jessy Battelli scored the final goal of the day off an assist from Cassidy Larson.
Junior Marissa Cooper made her first appearance of the season in the net after replacing Natalie D'Adamio. Cooper made one save off a penalty kick while D'Adamio saved four shots in 81 minutes played.
The Bears totaled seven shots on the day compared to the Pioneers' 23. Northern Colorado was also more physical than Denver, recording seven fouls.