Hunter Peifer denies the Buffs 10 times in dominant performance at CU

The Colorado State women's soccer team finished in a draw for a second straight match Sunday afternoon, as the Rams and Colorado Buffaloes (1-0-1) finished in a scoreless draw at CU's Prentup Field. The match against in-state rivals was CSU's second of three matches in the 2018 Colorado Cup.

"We're really proud of our team. To come into a place like this and really battle to the end – we were pushed, but we pushed back – it says a lot about our players and it's a good place for us to be," head coach Bill Hempen said. 

The game finished in a scoreless deadlock Sunday, but the Buffaloes had plenty of scoring opportunities. CSU redshirt junior goalkeeper Hunter Peifer made 10 saves in the 120 minute match to help keep the tied at 0-0.

The 10-save performance is the second most by a CSU goalkeeper in a single game in program history. Peifer also owns the record, making 11 stops at SIUE last season (Sept. 8, 2017).

Peifer finished with a pair of first half saves, but the veteran goalkeeper was particularly dominant in the second half and in extra time. In the 48th minute, CU's Megan Massey turned a CSU turnover into a one-on-one scoring opportunity with the Rams' goalkeeper. Massey dribbled the ball into the penalty area and had an opportunity to put the ball into the back of the net but her attempt went high and was stopped by Peifer.

In the 83rd minutes, the Buffaloes had yet another scoring opportunity when Tatum Barton sent a drive right-to-left across the mouth of the goal, but Peifer made a fingertips save to keep the game scoreless. 

CSU's best scoring chance came in the 60th minute, when sophomore forward Ally Murphy-Pauletto positioned herself into point-blank range but CU keeper Jalen Thompkins was able to deny her nearside attempt. 

While both goalkeepers played extremely well Sunday, the biggest save of the match was actually made by a position player. In the 96th minute, CU's leading scorer from 2017, Marty Puketapu, had beaten Peifer on her potential golden goal in extra time, but Swenson was positioned in the center of the goal mouth and cleared the line to preserve the tie. 

"Lexi (Swenson) cleared one off the line there at the end to save it for us for sure, but our players play through everything and today she was the player that represented that," Hempen said. "That was a moment where she could've just let the goal happen, but she didn't. Those are the simple things that you take away from this."

The Colorado State women's soccer team plays Northern Colorado in its home opener on Thursday. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. MT from CSU Soccer Field.

PHOTO: Ashley Potts | Rocky Mountain Collegian