Men's soccer hosts ASU on Friday night
Keenan Turner / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Ethan Taplin, a forward on UA’s Men’s Club Soccer Team steps in front of a defender at practice on Tuesday.
Seeking revenge, Arizona men’s club soccer will take on ASU for the second time this season tomorrow night at 8 p.m.
Senior and co-president of the club David Schipper said he especially wants to pay the Sun Devils back for the loss at ASU a few weeks ago, since this will be his last home game against them before he graduates.
The 3-1 loss to ASU was a rough start to the season, and Schipper said the Sun Devils had the upper hand playing at home when the two teams faced off on Sept. 13.
“When we played over there, their crowd and fans played a huge factor,” Schipper said. “We were up 1-0 in the first 15 minutes, and their fans got in our heads. They were talking smack on the sidelines; they were encouraging their players. So hopefully our fans can do the same thing for us.”
In addition to fan support, ASU also already had experience, playing as a team with two wins under its belt.
However, now that Arizona has played in more games, including a tournament, the Wildcats will have the advantage that they were lacking in the first game. Schipper says that the Wildcats are a different team now that they have gotten used to playing together and have learned each other’s styles.
Plus, they are playing at home on their new field south of Sixth Street, across from Arizona Stadium and next to the Student Recreation Center.
“I love to play in front of the home crowd,” senior and president of the club Taylor Ahrensdorf said. “That is absolutely the best. You know, playing in front of your friends, your family, everyone’s coming out to see you. That’s easily the best. And I love playing ASU, too. They’re our best opponent in the region, and nothing’s better than beating them.”
This may be head coach Bryan DeJonghe’s first year coaching the UA team, but he is already familiar with ASU’s style of play and knows what to expect from the Sun Devils.
“ASU’s strengths are that they play very direct. They have some very big and athletic guys. They are very fast, especially in their forward positions,” DeJonghe said. “They’re well-coached, they know what they’re doing when they go out there. I think each player knows exactly what they need to do in order to make it work.”
During tomorrow’s game, the Wildcats plan to use a different formation than they did the last time they played the Sun Devils, in hopes of setting the tone for this game early on.
“We’re very effective,” Ahrensdorf said. “We’re very dangerous when it’s quick, on the floor, through our center-mids, through David. So if we can set our tone, play quick, on the ground — I think, technically-wise, there’s no contest between us and [ASU].”
DeJonghe said he is excited to see how Tucson fans react to the rivalry game.
“I’m excited to compete; I’m excited to give the fans a look at a great team; I’m excited to get some revenge,” DeJonghe said. “I expect [ASU] to be fired up; I expect them to be well-coached; I expect them to bring their best … [From Arizona] I expect the same thing. I demand the same thing.”
— Follow Brittney Klewer @BrittneyKlewer