The DU women’s soccer team will host its first-ever NCAA tournament game on Saturday at CIBER field at noon, when they host Colorado College in the first round of the big dance. DU went 15-2-4 in 2012, earning its first-ever at-large tournament berth, and despite an overall impressive resume laden with several notable wins, the Pioneers were still nervous during Monday’s selection show, when they were pitted against their in-state rivals.
“You always sweat it out, no matter what. To see our name go so quickly, to have it early was great for the girls,” DU head coach Jeff Hooker told Mile High Sports on Thursday. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen them be so loud or be so emotional.”
DU will face a CC team that it lost to in its season opener back in August by a 1-0 score, but since then, DU enjoyed a 19-game unbeaten steak. The Pioneers use an attack-minded 4-3-3 attack, featuring three strikers and two attacking midfielders, led by 2012 WAC player of the year, junior forward and Littleton native Kristen Hamilton. However, despite Hamilton’s team-high 13 goals along with six assists, Hooker said the Pioneers don’t necessarily rely on Hamilton for goals.
“It’s the sort of thing where we have different options and different weapons,” Hooker said. “(Hamilton) can do some pretty special things. At the same time, it’s not like we have to rely on her to score.”
Meanwhile, 14-3-5 CC will enter Saturday’s contest on an eight-game unbeaten streak, including a 2-1 victory over No. 16 UCF on October 12.