UA soccer wins one, loses one on Washington road trip

In what was an up-and-down weekend for Arizona soccer, the Wildcats (9-3-1, 3-2-0) split their two games against the Washington schools this weekend when they upset No. 21 Washington State on Friday before falling to Washington on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday’s matchup in Seattle against Washington saw a defensive stalemate for the vast majority of the 90 minutes before the Huskies finally broke through late for a 2-0 victory over the Wildcats.

The best chance for both teams in the first half came from Arizona junior midfielder Hayley Estopare, who received a flip throw-in from sophomore forward Paige Crouch. However, her header hit the crossbar and went out of bounds in the 29th minute.

Neither team was able to take the lead in the second half until the 88th minute — when Washington’s Jaclyn Softli received the ball on the wing and beat an Arizona defender down the goal-line before getting the ball just underneath goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman for the goal.

On the play, Kaufman hit her head against teammate junior Sheaffer Skadsen’s leg and was forced to leave the game. With just about two minutes remaining in the game and down by a goal, Arizona head coach Tony Amato made the decision to replace Kaufman with senior forward LeeAndra Smith. But a mishit clearance by Smith left the Wildcats’ goal open, and the Huskies took advantage when Kate Bennett scored the goal all the way from midfield.

For the game, the Wildcats had a higher position rate but were outshot 15-14 in overall shots.

On Friday against No. 21 Washington State, the Wildcats used a huge first half run to pull away from the Cougars and win 4-1.

Washington State actually got on the board first when senior Jamie Schnieders got open in the Wildcats’ penalty area from a nice through ball from one of her teammates and easily finished past Kaufman in the 14th minute.

Trailing 1-0 early, Arizona didn’t flinch but instead reversed the game’s momentum entirely when senior forward Alexandra Doller hit a spectacular shot that grazed Washington State goalkeeper Gurveen Clair’s gloves and into the top corner of the net in the 26th minute.

The Wildcats took the lead off a set piece in the 32nd minute when two Arizona freshmen hooked up for a goal as midfielder Gabi Stoian’s corner kick found the head of freshman forward Charlotte Brascia to make it 2-1 Arizona.

Just minutes later, Doller scored her second goal of the game and sixth of the season for the Wildcats as she finished off a nice set of combination passes from her teammates in the 34th minute to give Arizona the two-goal lead at the half.

The start of the second half was more of the same from the Wildcats when another corner kick set up by Stoian ended up in the Cougars’ goal in the 48th minute. Stoian’s corner created a scrum in the Washington State penalty area, and it was Arizona senior defender Mykaylin Rosenquist who came out with the goal, just her second in her career. Neither team was able to add any more goals for the rest of the second half despite a few good chances from the Cougars.

According to a press release, Amato was proud of how his team focused on the present.

“When you play teams all the time that are at such a high level like we do in the Pac-12 [Conference], you know that you can’t be fazed by situations like their ranking, their history or their record,” Amato said. “You have to stay in the present and make the plays in front of you. We showed unbelievable resiliency to go down a goal in the situation we were in. In terms of Washington State playing so well, we were able to overcome that, get some goals and win the game.”

The Wildcats road trip continues on Friday when they face No. 1 UCLA in Los Angeles.

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Follow Brian Peel on Twitter.


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