SEATTLE -- Washington (6-6-2, 2-1-2 Pac-12) suffered its first conference defeat, falling in overtime to Colorado (11-3-0, 3-2-0), 1-0. The Buffaloes converted a free kick from 22 yards out for the game winner just under six minutes into overtime.
It was an unfortunate result for the Dawgs who played a tough game, but lost on a brilliant strike from Colorado’s Anne Stuller. The Husky defense and goalkeeper Megan Kufeld had been stellar, but a near-perfect free kick from Stuller ended up the golden goal.
“You have to hand it to Anne Stuller,” said head coach Lesle Gallimore. “She is a great player and she buried that shot. Megan Kufeld has been great, so they were going to need an exceptional shot to get it past her.”
Washington was the more dangerous team in the early going, but was unable to convert their chances in the offensive third.
“We wanted to get up on them early and I thought we played well enough in the first half to do that,” said Gallimore. “The bottom line is we need to be more dangerous in front of goal.”
The Dawgs best chance of the first half came in the final minutes when Hillary Zevenbergen subbed in and immediately won a ball at midfield. She played a long diagonal ball to a streaking Jaclyn Sofli who beat the Colorado keeper to the ball and poked it towards goal. Her shot just went just wide, however and the Dawgs settle for a 0-0 halftime score.
For the half, Washington took five shots to just one from Colorado. The Dawgs had the majority of the possession and was the more dangerous team going forward. UW looked down the right wing several times with midfielder Annie Sittauer sending in a couple of crosses, but none that seriously threatened goal.
In the second half, Colorado began to control more possession and have some chances going forward. Still, the Husky backline held strong, while Kufeld was sensational in net.
Colorado had a great chance in the 73rd minute when a long ball was through the center of the field. The UW defender slipped and the Buffaloes had a breakaway. Kufeld came way out of her goal to challenge the Colorado striker. Kufeld stayed big and blocked the shot with her outstretched arm to preserve the 0-0 tie.
Kufeld finished with five saves and held an opponent scoreless through regulation for the fourth-straight game. The Buffaloes outshot Washington 12-5 in the half, but the teams would go to overtime scoreless.
In overtime, it did not take long as Stuller scored with just 5:48 run off the clock. The Dawgs were called for a foul 22 yards from goal on the right side. Washington built a two-person wall to guard the near post, but Stuller’s blast snuck around the wall into the top corner.
The loss was Washington’s first in conference and moves the Dawgs back to .500 overall. The Huskies will remain with eight points and within striking distance of the top of the Pac-12. Next up, Washington hosts Oregon on Thursday night at 7 p.m. for a game broadcast of the Pac-12 Networks.