Consistent Cavarra crucial for 'Cats

Marisa Favero | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona midfielder Kelcey Cavarra (6) keeps the ball away from a UCLA player on Oct. 8.

In soccer, defense gets credited for winning championships and forwards get the glory, but what do midfielders get?

Midfielders are usually the play-makers of the game, but they hardly ever get the recognition they deserve for making things happen on the field.

It may be because of how sneaky they are. They are the ones who often have the best vision on the team and see plays happen before anyone else can. They are the ones who cover the most ground but are always in the perfect position to get a teammate out of trouble.

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Junior Kelcey Cavarra is a true midfielder. She takes control of her territory. She has a strong presence as a midfielder, constantly winning balls in the air, getting stuck in on tackles and striking balls from long distances.

After another double overtime game at home, the Arizona women’s soccer team tied the Cal Berkeley Golden Bears 3-3 Oct. 13.

Arizona midfielder Kelcey Cavarra (6) manages to head the ball before ASU midfielder Lucy Lara (7) can get airborne at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. The Wildcats shut out the Sun Devils 1-0 for their first Territorial Cup win in soccer since 2013.

A goal was scored by Amanda Porter (23’) in the first half. During the second half, sophomore Jada Talley (52’) scored her seventh goal of the season, followed by Morgan McGarry, who scored the equalizer in the 76th minute to give the ‘Cats hope.

Many shots were taken by both teams to try to get the three points out of the weekend, but the end result was a tie. The Wildcats felt as if it was a loss.

“It’s disappointing. I feel like we had better chances, and we gave up three goals, which sucks,” Cavarra said. “But I feel like we had more possession of the game. We just played better, and I think we could’ve gotten a better result.”

There’s a stat sheet to prove Cavarra’s statement. The ‘Cats out-shot their opponent 31-7. Much of the possession was held up in the offensive third for the Wildcats. Cavarra, along with her other two midfielders, was the reason for a lot of the chances they had. 

Her ability to play through balls to the feet of her forwards and to switch the point of attack from left to right had the Golden Bears on their toes much of the game.

Arizona Midfielder Kelcey Cavarra (6) fights for the ball with BYU Forward Elise Flake (5) on Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium on Sept. 15. The Wildcats won 2-1.

Cavarra is a player head coach Tony Amato looks to as a leader on the field, according to him. She has started every game since the 2018 season started and will continue to log minutes until it ends.  

“She grinds, she works, she covers ground, she wins balls, does a lot of dirty work in there,” Amato said, “She had a couple of chances tonight where she struck the ball really well.”

Cavarra took five shots, three of them on goal and dangerously close to finding the back of the net. The Wildcats look to her to take a free kick when a foul is drawn, especially one that is in shooting range.

She forced Cal goalkeeper Olivia Sekany to make some spectacular saves to keep her team in the match. 

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On one occasion, Cavarra took a free kick just outside of the 18-yard line, which forced Sekany to stretch as far as she could to tip the ball out over the goal post. Another time she hit a low driven shot that forced the keeper to dive and send it out of bounds for a UA corner.

“I don’t get the ball a ton on the top of the box. I just try to execute when I can,” Cavarra said.

And she can. As a freshman Cavarra executed a long-distance goal against the then-No. 14 UCLA Bruins, which led to double overtime.

Cavarra is a consistent performer for this Arizona team and knows how far this team can go with the right mentality, one that they already seem to have.  

“This team doesn’t like to lose. We’re not okay with mediocrity. We want to be the best,” she said. 

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