Arizona soccer advances to second round with 2-1 comeback win over TCU
The Arizona Wildcats women’s soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after completing a 2-1 come-from-behind win over TCU on Friday at Mulcahy Stadium.
Sophomore Samantha Falasco and senior teammate Cali Crisler helped secure a win for the ‘Cats and punch their ticket to Palo Alto for the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament.
Things got uneasy for the Wildcats and their home crowd early on as TCU would get on the board first in the 30’ after senior Emma Heckendorn found the back of the net on an assist from TCU teammate Kayla Hill on a free kick.
“I think they were able to break us down, I know they had a pick it was a good ball in and they were just able to get behind us and had a good finish,” Arizona goalkeeper Lainey Burdett said.
The ‘Cats picked up the intensity in the second half as they out-shot the Horned Frogs 9-1.
“For 30 minutes we didn’t look like Arizona soccer,” head coach Tony Amato said of his teams first half performance. “I thought we started the game well and then the last 30 minutes of the half TCU seemed to win the first balls, win second balls, win any physical confrontation. You can’t be successful doing that,” Amato said.
The ‘Cats would equalize in the 76’ when Falasco put one in off an assist from Jada Talley off a corner kick.
“Gabi [Stoian] kicked a fantastic ball, it was on the ground and I just saw my opportunity so I took it and kicked it in the back of the net,” Falasco said.
With momentum and their home crowd cheering them on in the final minutes the Wildcats were able to capitalize with less than 10’ to go in regulation. In her final game as a senior at Mulcahy Stadium, Crisler gave the ‘Cats the lead in the 80’ when she let one rip just outside the box getting one by TCU’s keeper Katie Lund.
“I saw no one was on me, I saw space to shoot it and I just took the opportunity and knew we had nothing to lose at that point and we had to get a goal to win it,” Crisler said.
Arizona will travel to Palo Alto where it will face the Florida State Seminoles in the second round of the tournament on Friday, Nov. 17. Time is TBD.
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