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Two first half goals sink Huskies as they remain winless in conference play

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Two first half goals sink Huskies as they remain winless in conference play

Jessica Cowark comforts Karlee Stueckle after an injury during Washington's game verus Seattle University at the Championship Field Stadium on September 16, 2021.

A referee’s call can swing any match, and on Thursday the whistle was the deciding factor in the Washington women’s soccer team’s 2-1 loss to the Colorado Buffaloes. 

With the game square at one-all, a cross into the Husky box bounced into the path of redshirt senior center back Payton McGee. As the ball traveled upwards it struck MaGee, upon initial viewing it seemed to strike the defender’s chest, but the ref saw differently. 

As McGee went to clear the ball, the ref’s whistle blew and they pointed to the spot. Colorado’s claim to a penalty came as they felt McGee’s raised hand, indicating she controlled the ball illegally, and the referee agreed. Thus senior forward Shanade Hopcroft stepped up and launched the Buffaloes (6-4-1, 1-0-1 Pac-12) to victory in the 30th minute. 

The Huskies (2-5-2, 0-1-1 Pac-12) struggled again offensively, mustering only one shot on frame. That one shot however, was sensational. 

Redshirt junior Vanessa Millsaps is gathering quite the highlight reel for herself in an otherwise poor season for the Huskies. The midfielder's goal came via a lay off from senior Ameera Hussen to the edge of the 18, where Millsaps stepped into a blistering shot down the middle of the frame into the roof of the net in the 19th minute. 

Colorado initiated the scoring only seven minutes into the match, as Hopcroft supplied senior defender Hannah Sharts with a beautiful ball from a corner, which Sharts deftly headed into the back of the goal. 

The Huskies were outplayed on set pieces all match, managing only two corners to Colorado’s seven.

Head coach Nicole Van Dyke’s side continues to struggle in front of goal, not testing the Buffalo goalkeeper at all in the second half and continuing a concerning trend of being unable to score multiple goals, with their only two-goal outing this season coming last week. 

Washington will get the chance to bounce back quickly, as they travel to Salt Lake City, UT on Sunday, Oct. 3 to take on Utah at 11 a.m..

Reach writer Rajan Hans at sports@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @RajanHans14

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