Buffs End Record Regular Season Today

The ninth-ranked University of Colorado soccer team will bring its record-breaking regular season to a comparatively unceremonious conclusion Thursday afternoon when they'll host No. 22 Nebraska at the Pleasant View Soccer Complex. The game, complete with a special awards ceremony to celebrate the team's Big 12 Championship season, has been bumped up to a 2:00 p.m. start to accommodate for diminishing daylight.

Colorado senior class of Heather Hawkins, Emily Barnes and Orly Ripmaster will be recognized at the conclusion of the game.

The Buffaloes are coming off a 2-0 loss to No. 9 Texas A&M in College Station. The defeat broke a program-record 14-game win streak which began in the team's second game of the season on Sept. 6 over then ninth-ranked Denver University. Since, Colorado, unranked to begin the season, have climbed the ladder with wins over the Pioneers, Iowa State, Baylor, and Oklahoma State. Each of those victories assisted Colorado in a rise into a top ten spot in the nation.

Colorado's historic rise into the national spotlight has been made possible through the tremendous and altogether unexpected efforts of the likes of freshman phenomenon Katie Griffin, who's marks in games played (17), goals (9), points (21), shots on goal (27), and shot percentage (.209) are each team highs. Griffin has brought outstanding speed, agility, quickness, and obvious scoring ability beyond anything head Coach Bill Hempen and his staff could have hoped for when they recruited the 5-foot-4 pre-season All American from Desert Mountain High School last spring.

The rest of Colorado's productivity has come from a barrage of sources. Colorado natives Fran Munnelly and Ripmaster have combined for 10 goals in the Buffaloes' historic 2003 campaign, with Munnelly leading the team in shots on goal (47), and Orly possessing the teams second highest shots on goal percentage (.516).

The Lady Huskers enter Thursday's final match of the season still stinging from a 3-2 double overtime loss to Texas on Sunday. Nebraska had played well in Big 12 conference play prior to Sunday, winning six of their nine games since 5-1 dismantling of Iowa State on Sept. 26.

Having claimed the Big 12 title in their most recent loss, thanks to a Nebraska defeat of Texas earlier in the season, Colorado will own a first place seed entering the Big 12 tournament beginning Nov. 6 in Dallas.


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