A night of firsts helps Arizona rout Houston Baptist
There were a lot of “firsts” that were celebrated during Arizona women’s soccer 6-0 win over Houston Baptist on Sunday night.
Jada Talley (29’, 37’), Sabrina Enciso (39’), Gabe Jillings (66’), Brooke Wilson (73’) and Michaela Renter (88’) were all able to put the ball in the back of the net as Arizona notched its second win of the season.
Early on, the scoreboard remained 0-0 for almost 30 minutes. The Wildcats were connecting passes but couldn’t seem to finish in the final third of the field. That is, until Jada Talley scored the first goal.
Talley received the ball just outside of the 18-yard box and dribbled past Houston Baptist’s backline. She then took a shot that was placed just in the right spot and went in for the goal.
The Wildcats first goal changed the atmosphere of the game. The Huskies then pressed higher which opened up seams that the Cats’ used to their advantage and continued to add on the goals.
Talley then went on to score the second goal as well, a chipped ball over the keeper.
Later, Jillings, Wilson and Renter all celebrated their first goals of their collegiate careers.
“We have players that can go out there and perform and it’s a matter of getting confidence, building confidence and you know the young players need that, but the older players need it too," said head coach Tony Amato said.
Jillings' goal came from a rebound that was a shot created by left-footer Jill Aguilera. Aguilera also contributed to Wilson’s goal when she played a long ball over the Houston Baptist defense. Wilson controlled it with her chest and volleyed a rocket into the net. Wilson described her first goal as the "greatest feeling ever."
Likewise, Enciso scored her first collegiate career goal tonight, too. Amanda Porter fought to get a great cross off just between the penalty spot and the 18 yard line when Enciso came crashing through that area and had a beautiful volley into the net.
“I never thought this day would come,” Enciso said.
Lainey Burdett finished the game with 2 saves and another shutout. She is just two shutouts away from having the most in Arizona history.
Coach Amato, however, did rewrite the Arizona history books tonight. He became the winningest coach of Arizona history with 56 victories under his belt.
“Wins get credited to me but you know we have to have players that are committed to the cause, buy into the vision and work really hard for any wins to happen and I think we’ve been fortunate from the moment we got here that we’ve had players that work really hard and bought into what we want this to look like,” Amato said.
A lot of the women on the team expressed how happy and excited they were for their coach and mentioned that it was only going to go inspire them to get better.
“We’re gonna rack it up for Tony,” Talley said with excitement.
Arizona’s next games will be held in Tempe, Arizona for The Sun Devil Desert Classic. The Cats’ will be playing on Friday August 31 and Sunday September 2 against Southeast Missouri State and New Hampshire
“We have a lot more that we want to do moving forward," Amato said.
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