Soccer Set for Minnesota

The No. 15 University of Colorado soccer team (12-1 overall; 4-0 Big 12) takes a break in their Big 12 conference schedule to host the Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-6-2) Friday afternoon in Boulder. The Buffs are riding the high of a 10 game win streak and are off to the best start of any season in program history. Here is a game preview.

Senior Orly Ripmaster scored on the first shot of the game and on her team's first shot of the second half, as Colorado upended a motivated Baylor team 2-0 Sunday for a Big 12 fourth conference win. Seven Buffs played in all 90 minutes of the win, including midfielder Fran Munnelly, who tallied two shots on goal and the games only assist. The CU defense held the Bears shotless in the first period, and Buffalo netminder Jessica Keller stopped all three of the serious chances the streaking Bears had in the second half.

Ripmaster's two goals Sunday, one of which was unassisted, against Baylor earned her Big 12 Newcomer of the week honors. She is the first member of the Colorado team to win the award this season.

Aside from CU's 4-1 cornerkick advantage the Buffs had on Baylor, the Bears as a team more than made their presence felt against the Colorado defense. Baylor outshot CU 11-9 on the match, including a 10-3 edge in the second half. Colorado also committed two more fouls than the Bears in what turned out to be a highly penalized game.

The Lady Gophers are coming off their most recent loss in what's amounted to a very average start to the 2003 season for Minnesota; a 3-1 befalling at the hands of Illinois at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in Minneapolis on Monday night. The Gophers as a team have dropped three of their last four by a combined score of 5-9, all of which coming against Big 10 competition. Minnesota's most recent disappointing loss came on Sept. 26 when they dropped a 2-4 decision to Michigan State.

Minnesota's biggest offensive threat thus far has resulted from freshman Haley Lentsh. The 5-foot-7 Minnesota native has scored a team-high five goals on the season, and also holds team best marks in both points (12) and shot percentage (.227). The Gophers have also benefited from the passing ability of Rebecca Dellaria. The sophomore has stated in each of Minnesota 11 games, and leads the team with five assists.

Following Friday's game, CU resumes Big 12 play against Oklahoma (7-3-3; 2-1-1) in Norman on Sunday, and then returns home for a matchup against Kansas (9-3-1; 1-2-1) the following Friday.


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