BLOCK – Colorado hopes to send the team’s seven seniors on a high Friday. The Buffaloes’ season will wrap up, hosting Utah at Prentup Field (3 p.m. Pac-12 Networks).
The team will honor the seven senior starters at a pre-match ceremony. The Senior Day festivities are set for 2:43 p.m. The group of winners includes Kayleigh Webb, Civana Kuhlmann, Hannah Cardenas, Allie Palangi, Alyssa Duke, Hannah Sharts and Dani Hansen.
“It’s a unique group as we talked about,” said the head coach Danny Sanchez commented. “We have seven seniors with players like Hannah Sharts, Hannah Cardenas and Civana Kuhlmann who are actually in their sixth year of college. It’s just unique with injuries, red shirts and COVID. Dani Hansen and Kayleigh Webb are both in their fifth year, then the two traditional types of four-year-old seniors [Allie Palangi and Alyssa Duke] and they are all fantastic young women.
“They are leaders not only within the team with the three captains but in the department if you look at what Hannah Sharts could do with the soccer ball. Civana was able to resurrect her career and she will soon be playing professionally here. Alyssa is already a graduate of the Leeds School of Business and will get her MBA in May. Allie plans to continue playing somewhere next year that has a nursing program. Dani will leave flight school. We have successful young women who are excellent representatives of the department and the program. »
Webb, a native of San Marcos, Calif., had the best season of his career in 2022, tallying career highs in goals (6), assists (3) and points (15). She’s tied for the eighth-longest consecutive active starting streak in the NCAA, making her 98th consecutive start on Friday. She has started and played in every game since arriving in Boulder, setting a new record for games played by a Buff. She was voted captain this season by her teammates and has helped lead this program on and off the field.
“I had a great time here,” Webb said. “I’m grateful to have had this year and happy to have taken the opportunity. It was really fun to have this whole extra year to have fun and play football. I don’t know what I’m going to do after then It was good to have more time to kick balls and go for the goal.”
Kuhlmann, a native of Centennial, Colorado, was traded for the season after becoming a two-time national champion and three-time Pac-12 champion at Stanford. She burst onto the scene as the Buff with a career-high 11 goals this season. She currently ranks 15th in the NCAA with a career-high 28 points.
“I thought how ironic it is that my college career has been so long,” Kuhlmann said. “I was a freshman in 2017, which is crazy. Yet my time at CU was so short, I feel like it defines my college career so much. This past season has meant a lot to me. and my family. It just allowed us to do something that we didn’t have before. Having the support week after week really meant a lot to us.
Cardenas, a native of Placentia, Calif., has had a rollercoaster career, overcoming four knee surgeries during his tenure. She started her career in 2017, starting all 22 games as a rookie. She missed the majority of the 2018 and 2020 seasons and the entire 2021 season. This season, she started 14 and played in 18 games. She was a three-time Pac-12 Academic Honoree and the 2019 winner of CU’s Herbst Academic Award.
“Obviously I had ups and downs,” Cardenas recalled. “It hasn’t been a practical football journey. I’ve had a lot of injuries, so to be able to spend six years here and have the coaches and the people supporting me and cheering me on just means the world to me. I don’t think people realize how much time and effort went into getting me here a lot of people and schools probably would have turned me down and stopped me from doing what I wanted to do But everyone here has been 100 per cent on my side all the time. It just means the world to me and I’m very grateful for that.”
Palangi, a native of Pismo Beach, Calif., traveled with the team to France before the start of his first season and made his college debut in late 2019 against Oregon after missing the first part of the season due to a a wound. She played in 14 games in 2020 and recorded her first career point, assisting on the game-winning goal against Weber State. Last season, she started 11 games and scored her first career goal against No. 1 Florida State. This season, she has played in 16 games and had a career-high six shots against Omaha.
“Obviously I was very lucky to go to France and I think it prepared me for a great experience here,” Palangi said. “It kind of went through the four years. There were ups and downs with injuries and everything, but I really enjoyed my four years. I think Colorado is a beautiful place to live. and a great program. The people I have that I’ve surrounded myself with over the past four years have made this extremely special and I think I’ve put in a lot of work and I’m grateful for that.”
Duke, a native of Upland, Calif., is finishing a four-year career during which she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She was twice selected to the academic Pac-12 list. Duke has played 47 games and started five on defense. She scored her first career game-winning goal against Arizona State in 2020. This season, she scored a goal against San Diego and had an assist against Denver.
“Growing up, I used to go to games at USC and UCLA and always dreamed of playing in the Pac-12,” Duke added. “Coming to CU and playing Pac-12 Division I football was a dream come true. It really allowed me to continue to grow as a football player and play at the highest level in college as well as pursue my studies. I feel like I really made the most of my time here at CU and I’m really grateful for what has been a dream come true.”
Sharts came to CU in 2019 after spending two seasons at UCLA. The Newbury Park, Calif., native became the first CU football player to earn CoSIDA All-American Academic Honors in 2020 and has a pair of degrees to her name. A captain for three years, she was the team’s defensive MVP in 2021. She was twice selected to the All-Pac12 first team and played in all 77 games over the past four seasons. She’s been a big presence on CU’s set pieces over the years, tallying nine goals as a target in the box.
“These last four years mean everything to me,” Sharts explained. “I think I definitely made the most of my college experience here and learned every ounce of Boulder. I took it in wholeheartedly and it’s a second home to me forever now.”
Hansen, a native of Broomfield, Colorado, returned to Colorado after spending two seasons in Washington. She twice made a career-high 11 saves in 2020 and finished 5th in the NCAA with a Pac-12-best 92 saves that same season. A three-time Pac-12 Goaltender of the Week, she helped the Buffaloes to 21 wins. Hansen posted 12 solo shutouts as Buff and made 204 career saves.
“I love being home,” Hansen said. “I wouldn’t have decided to come back to Colorado if it didn’t mean something to me. Being able to finish in front of my family is huge and being a Buff is super important to me. Finishing this journey with this group of seniors is unbelievable.”
Fans who walk through the doors on Friday will receive a voucher for a Chip bobblehead doll. The voucher can be redeemed when the game is released.