Opportunity awaits for Arizona soccer
San Francisco defender Allison Arriola (25) gives Arizona midfielder Cali Crisler (3) a shove on the second day of the Arizona Cats Classic at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. on Sept.11, 2016.
Arizona soccer salvaged the weekend against No. 2 Stanford and No. 11 Cal escaping with a split, 1-1-0 record.
Stanford has only lost two games at home since 2014 and didn’t let the Wildcats take home a win as they defeated Arizona 1-0 on Thursday, Sept. 28. The ‘Cats defense bent, but didn’t break managing to only give up a single goal. Arizona keeper Lainey Burdett was a major key for Arizona as she made 11 saves and conceded Stanford’s only goal off a rebound.
The Cardinal recorded 32 shots throughout the game, and the Wildcat’s defense couldn’t contain Stanford’s nation leading attack, but managed to force a majority of the Cardinal’s shots off target. Arizona midfielder Cali Crisler lead the Wildcat’s on offense with two shots, followed by forward Charlotte Brascia with one shot. UA forward Jill Augilera also had a single shot after coming off the bench.
Arizona was able to see star player and senior midfielder Gabi Stoian subbing onto the pitch the 78th minute. The return of Stoian adds another threat to the already potent UA offense which is now led by Crisler.
Arizona matched up well with the eleventh ranked Cal after sticking with the second ranked team in the country for over an hour. Arizona outshot Cal 16-13, but recorded 5 more shots on target than the Golden Bears.
The two sides looked even until UA forward Jada Talley proved the difference maker in the 75th minute. Talley’s game winning goal was the freshman’s first while being a Wildcat. Stoian started for Arizona for the first time in three games, exactly 20 days after coming off against Texas Tech with an injury. Stoian was subbed off in the 27th minute and didn’t return until the start of the second half. Talley subbed on for Stoian ten minutes into the half until Stoian was brought back in the 77th minute playing the rest of the game.
Arizona now has a 2-1-0 in conference record and aren’t out of the woods yet. The ‘Cats take on No. 7 USC on Thursday, Oct. 5 followed by top ranked UCLA on Sunday, Oct. 8. In what could prove to be the biggest weekend in Arizona soccer history, Arizona will look to place itself among the nations premiere teams. The competition will be a step higher than last weekend, and UA will rely on an at home advantage at Mulcahu Stadium.
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