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Tough times for Pioneers

September 5, 2011 | 3:56 pm No comments
By Shaun Schafer

After the Pioneers raced out to an early one goal lead, Cal got a hat trick from senior forward Katie Benz to send the Bears past DU 4-2.

Forward Kristen Hamilton scored on a pass from forward Kaitlin Bast and fired past diving Cal goalkeeper Emily Kruger.

Cal’s Benz would start the second half just as quickly as Hamilton started the first, scoring in the 47th minute to tie the score at 1-1.

Benz would add another goal in the 54th, and all of a sudden the Pioneers (4-1) found themselves down a goal.

Lauren Battung made it 3-1 in the 63rd minute after taking control of a loose ball in the Pioneers six yard box, and sliding it into the back of the net.

In the 71st minute, midfielder Nicholette DiGiacomo scored her second goal in as many matches after receiving a long ball from freshman defender Sam Harder. The assist was Harder’s fourth of the season.

With the Pioneers down a goal, they were forced to send players forward which left them vulnerable in the back. DU would concede again in the 85th minute when Cal’s Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick sent a long ball to Benz who chipped the ball past the DU keeper to complete her hat trick and give the Bears (5-1) another two goal lead. Benz has accumulated eight goals in the first six matches of the season.

“Cal came out of halftime and threw everyone into attack and really put it on us in the first 15 minutes of the second half,” head coach Jeff Hooker said. “We made a valiant comeback and Nicky (DiGiacomo) almost tied it at three each, but a bad error when we were pressing forward cost us in the end

Junior goalkeeper Lara Campbell and the Pioneers back line were busy all afternoon with Cal holding a 19-12 advantage in shots, a 10-8 advantage in shots on goal and a 7-2 advantage in corners.

The Pioneers will have a week off between games before they travel back to Boulder, on Sept. 11 to take on in-state rival Colorado at 1 p.m.

DU 0, Davidson 0: DU and Davidson played 110 minutes of soccer at CIBER Field on Sunday afternoon, but neither side could find a goal in the defensive-minded match.

Overall, the Pioneers (0-1-1) held most of the game’s momentum, out-shooting the Wildcats 15-8 and holding a 10-4 advantage in corner kicks during the game. However, DU put just one shot on goal, while Davidson (1-0-1) managed two on the mark.

“I was disappointed with the way we played today,” head coach Bobby Muuss said. “We trained, and the guys knew just what to expect. I think we were prepared, but we just didn’t execute.”

Denver’s best scoring chance came in the 55th minute, when junior midfielder Mark Weigand (Fort Wayne, Ind.) sent a corner kick into the box and found the head of junior defender Blake Shannon (Houston, Texas), but Davidson goalkeeper Chip Sanders made the save.

The Pioneers next travel to South Bend, Ind., to take on a pair of Top 10 teams at the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. Denver will face host No. 7 Notre Dame on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and No. 6 Indiana on Sept. 11 at 10:30 a.m.

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