Soccer looks to be in a position to host postseason game
Arizona's Charlotte Brascia (10) looks up at the ball with USC players on Oct. 5.
Arizona soccer is four games away from the NCAA soccer tournament. The Wildcats currently sit in the top 25 of the RPI rankings, and look to be in a position to host at least one postseason game. Most competitive teams at this point in the season have an identity. That being said, the Wildcats don't quite seem to have a preferred playing style.
Arizona is 7-4-3 on the season to date, and have had three ways in which they've got results. They played a high press against the lesser competition they played to open the season, and played to a .500 record to the start of Pac-12 play. The 'Cats started out by going up against the best four teams in the conference in their first five conference games. They escaped their two weeks against top 15 teams in the country with a 1-2-1 record by playing a quick paced, counterattacking style of soccer. They were able to compete despite being outshot. Before these games, they had outshot nearly every one of their opponents.
Arizona is finishing the regular season with six games against lesser competition, and are 2-0-0 to start the final push towards the tournament. The Wildcats have scored more goals in the previous two games than in the four before that combined. A chief reason for the uptick in scoring is a change in mentality. Arizona is combining the attacking mentality from their pre-conference games with the face paced offense from their counterattack into a machine.
The Wildcats defeated Utah, 3-2, on Thursday. Scarlet Brascia opened the scoring in the first minute against the Utes. Jill Aguilera put a shot past the Utah keeper for the 'Cats second goal in the fifth minute of the game. Cali Crisler finished UA's scoring in the 19', to put Arizona 3-0 up. The 'Cats then spent the next 70 minutes holding on to a 3 goal lead.
Arizona is playing a different breed of soccer. The Wildcats are figuring out how to beat teams in different ways. This will be very beneficial a month down the road, when the tournament rolls around.
The Wildcats are currently ranked 21st in RPI, but only received one vote in the coach's poll. Another win on Sunday, and Arizona should get more attention. Arizona next takes on Colorado on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 12 p.m. The Buffaloes are currently 8-5-3, and No. 8 in the Pac-12.
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