Wildcats given All-Pac-12 honors
Arizona midfielder Gabi Stoian (9) swoops in to regain possession ahead of a group of Colorado players at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016.
Arizona Soccer’s defense is a major reason for the Wildcats success this season. The coaches recognized that, voting goalkeeper Lainey Burdett and right back Morgan McGarry for All-Pac-12 Second Team. The pair make up half the players not on Stanford, UCLA, USC and Cal named to the First and Second Teams. Gabi Stoian was also named to the Third Team.
Burdett helps opponents to .78 goals per game making 77 saves on 91 shots on goal, which was good for a .846 save percentage. Burdett held opponents scoreless on seven different occasions. She also held opponents to only two goals on four penalties. Burdett had a game reminiscent of Tim Howard versus Belgium against Stanford, making 11 saves against the top seed team in the tournament.
McGarry doesn’t stop moving on the pitch and doesn't appear to be very impressive on the stat sheet, but does everything that a right back should do.
McGarry contributed in Arizona’s high press style of play at the beginning of the season pressing high and won balls around the center line, and found Kennedy Kieneker and Kelsey Cavarra in the midfield, rather than simply clearing the ball. McGarry also played janitor when using her speed to recover against forwards who found their way through the back line. She then proved herself very important in the counterattack that UA played against the big four in the conference. She stayed strong on defense, but pushed forward on offense and overlapped with the right back.
As a Third Team selection this is Stoian's fifth All-Pac-12 honor. As a freshman, she was selected to the Second Team. As a sophomore she was selected to both the First Team and received an All-Academic Honorable Mention.
Stoian received another All-Academic Honorable Mention last year, which was crucial to the team’s success early in the season, scoring an equalizer late against the Boston Terriers, and with her veteran leadership. She assumed a leadership role, along with the other seniors. The Wildcats season easily could’ve been subpar after two poor performances in the Sun Devil Invitational, followed by a disappointing loss to FGCU. Veteran leadership displayed by Stoian, along with her four goals and two assists, earned her the honor.
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