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Sophomore midfielder Anna Willis
Courtesy: Zach Harder, DU Athletics
Sophomore midfielder Anna Willis
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Denver Stretches Unbeaten Streak to 15 in 4-2 Win Over UTSA
Courtesy: Denver Athletics  
Release: 10/19/2012

DENVER - The University of Denver women's soccer team defeated UTSA 4-2 on Friday night in Western Athletic Conference action at CIBER Field at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium. The win stretches the Pioneers unbeaten streak to 15 matches.

Junior forward Kristen Hamilton (Littleton, Colo.) found the net twice and recorded an assist to give her five points for the second-straight contest. Sophomore midfielder Lydia Harlan (St. Louis, Mo.) and senior forward Kaitlin Bast (Centennial, Colo.) also scored for the Pioneers. Sophomore midfielder Anna Willis (Centennial, Colo.) tallied three assists on the night.

"Every time we had to respond we did today," head coach Jeff Hooker said. "Even when we got the fourth goal we were still looking to go forward. We never gave up. I was proud of the way we closed the game out in the last 15 minutes. We didn't give up a lot of chances."

Hamilton opened the scoring for Denver (11-1-4, 3-0-2 WAC, 11 pts.) in the 15th minute with a 1v1 goal, her 11th of the 2012 campaign. Sophomore midfielder Nikki Pappalardo (San Diego, Calif.) started the scoring chance, making a run down the left side before finding Bast in the middle of field. Bast slid a ball behind the UTSA backline to Hamilton who was all alone with the keeper, beating her into the bottom left corner.

The Roadrunners (2-11-2, 1-3-2 WAC, 5 pts.) found an equalizer in the 29th minute on a penalty kick after a Pioneer handball in the box off a UTSA cross.  Freshman midfielder Simone Boye converted the spot kick, her third goal of the season.  

UTSA earned another dangerous free kick in the 39th minute, this one just outside the penalty area. Laylla da Cruz fired the free kick on target, but senior goalkeeper Lara Campbell (Anchorage, Alaska) was up the challenge, diving to her left to make the save.

DU retook the lead in the 42nd minute. Willis played a cross from the left wing into the box to jump start the Pioneers chance. The ball fell nicely for Harlan, who put the ball in the back of the net from 15 yards out to give DU the one-goal advantage.

The visitors responded to create a scoring opportunity of their own within a minute of the Pioneers second goal. Junior midfielder Valentina Lefort took a shot from close range, but Campbell was again up to the task, making the save to preserve the 2-1 DU lead heading in to the intermission.

Hamilton scored her 12th goal of the season to give Denver a 3-1 advantage in the 58th minute. Senior forward Kalie Vaughn (Fort Collins, Colo.) crossed a ball from the left flank to Willis. The Pioneer sophomore played a quick one-touch ball to Hamilton to the center of the box. Denver's leading scorer beat keeper Katarina Pus just inside the far post to put Denver up by two goals.

UTSA junior forward Maria Jose Rojas brought the Roadrunners back to within one in the 72nd minute, beating a couple of Denver defenders before getting her shot off. Rojas' shot was immediately deflected, but popped over the head of Campbell and into the side netting.

Bast quickly got Denver its two-goal lead back in the 78th minute on a ball into the upper-90 from 16-yards out. Willis' third assist of the contest started the scoring chance, dribbling down the endline before finding Hamilton in the middle of the penalty area. Hamilton quickly laid the ball off to Bast, who placed her one-touch strike into the upper-left corner of the net.

Denver led UTSA 21-12 in shots. The Pioneers put four of their five shots on target in the match into the back of the net.  

The Pioneers will host Senior Day in their final regular season home game on Sunday, as Denver takes on Texas State at 12 p.m. at CIBER Field. The match will be streamed live on Pioneers Vision.


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