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2023/24 SOCCER general off-season news thread (Scrimmage vs. N. Texas 8/10; official opener hosting Marquette 8/15)


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I always like to set up these threads for all the sports to account for any off-season and spring (for this sport) scrimmage and training period news.

1st, just a quick look back with some summary numbers from this past season:
Record - 13-5-3 overall; 5-3-3 in Pac 12 play, which equaled them ending up in 4th place in their last season in the conference with 18 points.
NCAA Tournament - The Buffs had to go on the road to face #8 regional seed Texas A & M, and lost a tough 0-1 match as a freak goal off a deflected clear attempt by a Buff defender from over 30 yards away from goal cost CU. (In their 2nd round match, looks like the Aggies equated themselves well, only losing 1-0 to regional # regional seeded and nationally ranked Florida State.)
RPI - Before the NCAA Tournament began (report dated 11/3), the Buffs had a #55 RPI (per https://www.ncaa.com/rankings/soccer-women/d1/ncaa-womens-soccer-rpi)
KPI - Updated through 11/13 as I type this, the Buffs' KPI (available through a query at https://faktorsports.com/), after their loss, is #40.
Massey - #27 (as of matches played through 11/17.)

(As a Buff fan, don't care much, but just an update on how other current and future current conference-mates are doing. (The tournament has 3rd round matches being played today and tomorrow.):

  • The Pac 12 is already down to only 1 team left standing, Stanford. The #2 regional seed Trees host Mississippi in their 3rd round match scheduled to begin in a half hour or so.
  • For the Big 12, the only team left in that conference that the Buffs will face next year is Texas Tech, who as a #2 seed get to host #3 seed North Carolina tomorrow. (Texas is also still in it, although have a tough road match scheduled tomorrow vs. Florida State.
Edit - For those who don't watch the below, wanted to note that Included in the interview is info from Coach Sanchez, related to next season - it sounds like there are already 2 grad transfers he knows about who are coming to Boulder (that he can't announce yet).

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Congrats to Ms. Rosen!

Direct link to article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/11/22/soccer-rosen-earns-acadmeic-all-district-honor.aspx

BOULDER – Colorado senior Rachel Rosen earned Academic All-District as announced by the College Sports Communicators earlier this week. The award recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom.

It is the first All-District selection for Rosen.

Academic All-District honorees advance to the CSC Academic All-America ballot. First-, second and third-team Academic All-America honorees will be announced December 20.

Rosen, a native of Hermosa Beach, Calif., is a two-time All-Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll honoree. She captained the Buffs to a 13-5-3 record and a trip back to the NCAA Tournament. She helped solidify the Buffs backline this season, aiding the team in its eight shutouts. Rosen set the school record for consecutive assists, recording a helper in four straight matches. She scored the game-winning goal on a penalty kick at Denver and finished the season with a career-high seven points (1 G, 5 A).

In order to be eligible for nomination, student-athletes must compete in 90 percent of the institution's matches or must start in at least 66 percent of the matches. Additionally, each student-athlete must have at least a 3.50 cumulative grade point average (GPA).
Just wanted to mention that starting at 4:00 PM MT today is the NCAA Championship game, and it features (still conference-mate for a few more months) Stanford (who upset BYU 2-0 last Friday to advance) facing off against #1 FSU in Cary, North Carolina, with coverage on ESPNU.

Per https://www.sportingnews.com/us/soc...s-stanford-stream-tv/bc3c78a22a5f2f614868e00a , this is going to be the 1st time in women's soccer NCAA Championship history where both teams in the final are coming in undefeated.
Congrats to Faith Leyba for the topdrawersoccer.com all-frosh team award!

Direct link to associated article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/12/13/soccer-f-leyba-named-to-freshman-best-xi

BOULDER – Colorado's Faith Leyba garnered national accolades by being named First Team Freshman Best XI by Top Drawer Soccer on Wednesday

It is the third postseason award for Leyba who was also Pac-12 All-Freshman and United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-Pacific Region.

"We are very pleased that Faith has been recognized again for her fantastic freshmen season," head coach Danny Sanchez commented. "These individual accolades are a byproduct of our NCAA Tournament fall season. We are excited for Faith's future as she continues to develop."

Leyba, a Phoenix, Ariz., native, had a strong rookie season on the backline for the Buffs. She has started all 21 matches and led all of CU's field players in minutes played. Leyba led all of Colorado's freshmen with her three goals on just five shots on goal. She helped the Buffs' backline record eight shutouts this season, marking the most since the 2020 season. Leyba ranked No. 6 in Top Drawer Soccer's Midseason Freshman 100.

Leyba becomes the first CU freshman to earn the Freshman Best XI honor since Taylor Kornieck (First Team) and Jalen Tompkins (Second Team) who were both recognized in 2016.

(Full topdrawersoccer release - https://www.topdrawersoccer.com/college-soccer-articles/2023-womens-dl-postseason-awards_aid52899
topdrawersoccer.com did their annual post-season individual rankings of NCAA D1 players, and a few Buffs are ranked:

Fun analysis by a soccer-oriented Twitter account showing this past season's (2023) average RPI based on this year's conference vs. next year's conferences-

Team announces its off (spring) season scrimmage schedule -

Article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/2/14/spring-dates-set-for-soccer


Spring Dates Set for Soccer​

Buffs to host this year's Colorado Cup

By: Seth Pringle, Athletic Communications

The spring soccer season is right around the corner for the head coach Danny Sanchez and his Colorado Buffaloes.

The Buffs will play one match in February and then complete the season in April.

CU will travel down to Air Force to open the spring season for the second consecutive year. The Buffs and Falcons will play under the lights on Feb. 23 (7:30 p.m. MT), before a little bit of break in March.

The season will resume with the Colorado Cup on Apr. 6. This year's tournament will follow the same format since moving to a spring competition. The Buffs will host Denver, Colorado College, Air Force, Northern Colorado and UCCS at Prentup Field.

CU will host Kansas State (Apr. 13) and Colorado State (Apr. 16) in its two home contests.

The spring will conclude with a visit to Nebraska on Apr. 20.
DateOpponentLocationTime MT
Feb. 23Air ForceUSAFA7:30 p.m.
Apr. 6Colorado CupPrentup FieldAll Day
Apr. 13Kansas StatePrentup Field1 p.m.
Apr. 16Colorado StatePrentup Field7:30 p.m.
Apr. 20NebraskaLincoln, Neb.6 p.m.

Someone got the message, games are now free. Also, looks like games will be played on two parallel fields so two matches will be played at the same time.
I think I already knew this (maybe I inferred it when she wasn't one of those honored on this past season's senior day?), but official notice that last season's team captain Rachel Rosen is coming back for her 5th season.


game was a defensive game with not many scoring chances either way. Kstate fans do not like how the Lebya twins play. They wanted Faith red carded several times. It was a decent game, ref called way too much on both sides imo but nobody got hurt and CU did not look awful. I think it was a good match for CU because Kstate pressures all over the field all the time. CU needed to face a team like that in the preseason
I believe the evening after the Saturday match, the team had its annual awards banquet.

Article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/4/13/colorado-soccer-celebrates-2023

Buffaloes hold annual awards banquet

By: Seth Pringle, Athletic Communications

The Colorado soccer team gathered Saturday evening at the Rooftop Lounge of the Champions Center to celebrate the 2023 season at the team's annual year-end banquet.

The Buffs returned to the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time since 2020. CU finished 13-5-3 overall and ended the season fifth (5-3-3) in its final year in the Pac-12.

2023 Team Awards
MVP – Faith Leyba
Offensive MVP – Shyra James
Defensive MVP – Jordan Nytes
Newcomer of the Year – Ava Priest
Herbst Academic Award – Lola Stanley
Strength & Conditioning Award –Lawson Willis
Buff Cup – Jenny Beyer
Goal of the Year – Amaya Gonzalez

Freshman Faith Leyba was honored as the team's Most Valuable Player. She garnered national accolades last season, by becoming the first CU freshman to earn First Team Freshman Best XI by Top Drawer Soccer since Taylor Kornieck (First Team and Jalen Tompkins (Second Team) in 2016. Leyba was also a Pac-12 All-Freshman and United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-Pacific Region selection. She started all 21 matches for the Buffs and led all field players in minutes played. Lebya put in three goals on five shots from her defensive back position. The Phoenix, Ariz., native, helped the Buffs' backline record eight shutouts, marking the most since the 2020 season.

Senior Shyra James secured her third consecutive Offensive MVP award. James was a United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-America selection last season, becoming just the third CU player to earn All-America status alongside Fran Munnelly (2004, 05) and Taylor Kornieck (2018, 19). She finished the year with career-highs in goals (15) and points (32). James finished the season ninth in the NCAA and led the Pac-12 in goals. She notched four game-winning goals last season, including a late tally in the 89th minute at Utah that helped clinch CU's NCAA berth. James was also second in the conference and 18th in the NCAA in points. She wrapped up the season 11th in the NCAA in goals per game (0.75) and fifth in the nation with 4.65 shots per game. James set the single-season CU record with goals in seven straight games. Her 15 goals and 32 points fished as the second most in a single season, trailing Nikki Marshall's 37 points and 17 goals in 2006.

Sophomore transfer Jordan Nytes was CU's goalkeeper of record in all 21 matches last season. She posted 13 wins, the seventh most by a CU goalkeeper. Nytes shut out eight opponents last season with a .860 goals against average and a .802 save %. Her eight shutouts ranked third in the Pac-12 and were the most solo shutouts by a CU keeper since Tompkins' eight in 2019. Nytes finished the season ranked No. 42 in TDS's Top 100 for the season. She was the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week and the TDS Player of the Week following her back-to-back shutouts against Colorado College and No. 14 Michigan State.

Freshman Ava Priest contributed in a big way in her freshman season. She started 20 matches and appeared in all 21. Priest was a Pac-12 All-Freshman selection. She scored her first career goal at New Mexico, becoming the youngest player in the NCAA to record a goal last season (17 years, 65 days). Priest finished second on the team with 10 points (2 G, 6 A). Her six helpers led the team last season and finished tied for fifth in the Pac-12.

Sophomore Lola Stanley was awarded the team's Academic Award in her first year at CU. She played in 10 games last season with one shot on goal. Departing senior Lawson Willis was honored with the Strength & Conditioning Award. Willis started six matches and played in 15 last seasons. She had a three-point day at Utah with a goal and an assist in the Buffs' come-from-behind 3-2 win in the regular season finale.

New to the night's agenda was the award for Goal of the Year. Amaya Gonzalez took home the inaugural award with her self volley blast vs Purdue. The goal opened the scoring in the Buffs' 3-0 win and was No. 4 in SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays.

Beyer earned the annual Buff Cup for accumulating the most points during team competition during the spring season.

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