Arizona soccer hosts back-to-back OT games
Arizona freshman midfielder Gabi Stoian (9) scores Arizona's lone goal during Arizona's 1-1 tie in double overtime against California on Sunday at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium. Stoian and the Wildcats played back-to-back overtime games over the weekend against Stanford and Cal.
Playing in its final scheduled home series of the season, Arizona soccer (9-5-2, 3-4-1) came away with only a single point in its two games over the weekend when it fell to No. 4 Stanford on Friday before tying Cal on Sunday afternoon at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium.
Both games against the Northern California schools were closely contested, with both going into overtime.
Sunday’s game against the Cal Golden Bears was senior day for Wildcats Gabby Kaufman, Alexandra Doller, Mykalin Rosenquist, LeeAndra Smith, Julia Glanz and the injured Brie DeFelice, but it was freshman Gabi Stoian who got Arizona on the board first when she scored from outside the Cal penalty area after collecting a long throw-in from one of her teammates in the 41st minute.
In a first half that was mostly controlled by the Wildcats in terms of possession and quality scoring chances, Arizona nearly added to its lead several times but hit the post twice and had one shot cleared off the line.
The second half was more evenly played from both teams and after the Wildcats missed a few more chances to double the score line, the Golden Bears found the equalizer in the 73rd minute when Taylor Comeau’s shot was deflected off a Wildcat and past a sprawling Kaufman.
Both Arizona and Cal almost stole a late winner, but regulation ended at 1-1 and put the game into overtime.
After a few open chances for Wildcat sophomore midfielder Jaden DeGracie were missed high early in overtime, Cal looked like they had the game winner in the 105th minute. But the goal was disallowed when it was ruled that Kaufman was interfered with, and the game ended in a draw.
“Well, it was a hard game,” head coach Tony Amato said. “They are one of the top ranked teams in the country for a reason. … One of the things is that we can have no regrets if we lay it all out on the line like that, and we will live with the result and there are no regrets today.”
Friday night’s matchup with the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal saw the Wildcats stage a furious comeback before conceding a golden goal in overtime and losing 3-2.
Stanford got on the scoreboard only 46 seconds into the match when Taylor Uhl found a wide open Lo’eau LaBonta on the wing, and the senior midfielder easily finished past Kaufman to make it 1-0.
Stanford continued to dominate for the next 20 minutes and was rewarded with a second goal in the 19th minute when Uhl scored herself.
With a 2-0 deficit early on, it looked as though the Wildcats might be in for another rout at the hands of a highly ranked opponent, but the second half was a different story for Arizona. The Wildcats finally broke through in the 74th minute when Glanz connected on a header after a cross Stoian was deflected off one of the Cardinal defenders. With all the momentum suddenly swinging in Arizona’s favor, Stoian found the equalizer just minutes later when she found space in the Stanford penalty area and hit a perfect shot past Stanford goalkeeper Jane Campbell with her left foot in the 80th minute.
Tied at 2-2 after 90 minutes of play, the game went to overtime, and it was Uhl that sealed the deal in the 99th minute when she tapped in a rebound off a shot that Kaufman saved but could not control.
Despite the final result, Glanz acknowledged the grit her team showed in the second half.
“We didn’t come out the way we should have in the first half,” Glanz said. “We made the adjustments at halftime and did what we should have done the whole game. We were resilient, and we fought back; it was just an unfortunate ending.”
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