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Thursday, August 21, 2014 | Last updated: 3:02pm

Pro team beats Arizona soccer 10-0

Arizona women’s soccer lost its spring opener to the Portland Thorns 10-0 at Kino Sports Complex on Friday night, but UA head coach Tony Amato said he was thankful for the experience.

The Thorns are the defending National Women’s Soccer League champions, and this was their first public preseason game of the season. For Arizona, it was the first game of the spring exhibition season.

Despite the big loss, Amato said he was proud of the team and how they defended against the Thorns.

“We knew it was going to be difficult, but it was a great experience for our team,” Amato said. “We can take away a lot of positives from [Friday night]. No one could have hurt their status with their performance; they only could have elevated it.”

By Carlos Herrera / The Daily Wildcat
Freshman midfielder Laura Pimienta (27) falls to the grass as Meleana Shim (6) runs to obtain the ball for the Portland Thorns. Arizona soccer fell to the professional Portland Thorns FC 10-0 on Friday at the Kino Sports Complex in its first spring exhibition game.

There was a crowd of nearly 2,000 at the North Stadium at the Kino Sports Complex (in attendance) to watch the star-studded event.

The Thorns instantly took the lead. Within the first 6 minutes of the game, Canadian Women’s National team player Christine Sinclair and Angie Kerr each scored a goal on Arizona.

After the initial two goals by the Thorns, the Wildcats kept the Thorns scoreless for nearly half an hour in the first half. Toward the end of the first half, Rachel Van Hollebeke and Jessica McDonald each scored a goal to make the score 4-0 going into half time and the second half.

In the second half the Thorns scored six goals. Early on in the second half, Van Hollebeke and McDonald became top scorers in the game, scoring two goals each.

Allie Long and Maleana Shim also became top scorers with two goals each in the second half.

Arizona junior defender Sheaffer Skadsen said she was proud of how hard her team fought against the Thorns.

“No one wants to lose 10-0, but I think everyone can walk off the field saying they worked hard, did their best and learned from this experience,” Skadsen said.

Portland head coach Paul Riley said he was pleased with the Thorns’ first preseason win.

“I was happy with the overall movement of the ball,” Riley said. “The fitness level of this group is very high.”

On Sunday, Arizona returned to play college teams, with a 0-0 draw against New Mexico, in its only home game of the spring season.

Up next for the Wildcats is a road trip to University of Texas at El Paso and New Mexico State on April 5 and 6. The UA wraps up spring play with a return trip to Arizona to play against NAU on April 19.

—Follow Daniel Vizcarra @vizcarra_dw

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