Then there is Sivana Coleman.
Only a month passed when Coleman was at her family’s centenary home, and she regained her health while preparing for a football future that she thought didn’t include another season in the Pac-12. After a career at Stanford University that began with a staggering promise but ended in a frustrating streak of thigh injuries, Coleman was content enough to be in good health in time to begin a professional career in 2023.As it turned out, Coleman became healthy much faster than expected.
“Things were moving quickly,” Coleman said. “Then it was July, and I was like, ‘I’m probably going to play for the next couple of months. “So why wait for the (NWSL) draft in January when I can play?”
A phone call with Colorado coach Danny Sanchez and a trip through the transfer portal led Coleman to Brintop Stadium, where the former Stanford forward will look to bolster the Buffaloes’ rich attack for the 2022 season.
A graduate of Chatfield High who competed with the Colorado Rush Club program, Coleman was the third All-Pac-12 team as a true freshman in 2017, finishing eighth in the league with 22 points from nine goals and four assists. Two of these goals were scored at Boulder in Stanford’s 3-0 win on October 8, 2017.
The Cardinal won the National Championship that season and again in 2019, although Coleman missed that final round after being injured in a pre-season game against Missouri. Coleman featured Stanford’s four goals in the late 2020 season in early 2021 and scored again against the Boves, securing an 88th-minute win at Stanford.
But Coleman had surgery on her right hip about 13 months ago, and had surgery on her left hip in February. Both had to correct similar lip problems. When her recovery went smoothly, Coleman followed a similar path to many of CU’s notables lately – among them Becca Rasmussen, Megan Massey, Tatum Barton, Sophia Weiner, and Gabe Chapa, along with current co-star Hailee Stodden – by returning to her original state. After starting their undergraduate career elsewhere.
“I would say the use of my extra year didn’t evolve last year. I literally evolved last month,” Coleman said. “I had no plans to use my extra eligibility year. After my first hip surgery at Stanford in July of 2021, this was already my fifth year. So I kind of got myself back out of college and looking forward to recovering. And I looked forward to the next step, the pros, of my goals and aspirations.
“I haven’t been on a team since spring 2021. This is something I’ve been dreaming about literally every day at home for over a year. It’s surreal to be here. I’ve been through so much and spent so much time on my own, to be here with the team, I’m really happy. And I Really grateful because physically, things are going a lot better than I expected.”
As the Buffs go into pre-season training with a focus on their August 18 opener at home to Weber State, Kuhlmann has a chance to play a role in what could be a deep attack. CU returns as lead scorer Shyra James, and Sanchez has praised the off-season stage of senior Kayleigh Webb as she transitions into an offensive role.
“If you look at last year, Shyra had a bit of a slow start but she really came through, especially towards the end of the Pac-12 play. She had a great spring,” Sanchez said. It works well in the camp. So you have three experienced players, but then you have some beginners who are really good options and players like Rachel Rosen, who can play anywhere.
“I think we will have options this year, players who are at a decent level will play. It will be a good problem.”