CU comes back to sting Mizzou 3-2

If there's anything more impressive than an 8-1 non-conference start, earning a national ranking for the first time in the history of a program, and a pair of lower classmen collectively outscoring the rest of their team, it's what the University of Colorado soccer squad was able to accomplish Friday afternoon in their Big 12 Conference opener against Missouri in Boulder. <br><br>

Junior midfielder Jen Thais' gamewinner in the 55th minute represented the last in three unanswered Colorado goals as the Buffs overcame a 2-0 deficit to dramatically upend Missouri 3-2.

The victory was essential for Colorado in several ways, chiefly getting the Buffs off to the right foot in conference play. With the win CU takes a lead in the Big 12 standings, and improves to 9-1 overall on what has to be the most impressive season in recent memory.

"Opponents that we played before today we were just better than," head coach Bill Hempen said. "They didn't understand the pressure that Big 12 teams put on you. Missouri was more physical than the team's we've met."

Missouri opened scoring a little more than 20 minutes into the opening half, when Kristen Heil scored consecutive goals within three minutes of each other to give the Lady Tigers what seemed at the time to be an insurmountable 2-0 lead.

The Buffs remained consistent, however, and Fran Munnelly assisted two of the three goals Colorado would score to eventually claim the win, including the go-ahead goal by Thais with less than six minutes remaining in regulation. Golden-born sophomore Ashlie Mihalcin tied the game in the 54th minute, a little more than a half-minute before the game winner.

"It was a great win, but it definitely taught us to come out on top of our game. Coming back is good, but we need to get better," Mihalcin said of her team's performance after the game.

If Colorado is to improve on their performance Friday, it's not going to get any easier for them. The streaking Buffs will attempt to keep their conference standing and national ranking when they finish out their Big 12 opening homestand against Iowa State Sunday afternoon.

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