Arizona soccer falls in final seconds to Tennessee ending tournament run
Arizona women's soccer player Sabrina Enciso (16) throws the ball inbounds to a teammate in the Arizona-Washington game at Murphy Stadium on Thursday, October 18, 2018, in Tucson, AZ. The Wildcats won the game 1-0 in double overtime.
In what looked like to be the comeback of the year for the Arizona soccer team, it was Tennessee that found a way to recover with a late game-winning goal after choking away a two-score lead.
This marks the second straight year the Wildcats failed to make it past the second round of the NCAA Tournament as they were defeated 3-2 by the Volunteers in Knoxville on Friday.
Tennessee’s Salera Jordan was able to get the Volunteers on the board first in the 34th minute of the match as she slipped one past Arizona keeper Lainey Burdett giving UT a 1-0 lead going into halftime.
It took 46 seconds into the start of the second half for Tennessee to get its second goal of the match, giving them a comfortable 2-0 lead. Danielle Marcano skipped one past Burdett off a throw in from teammate Meghan Flynn.
Dating back to last season, one thing Arizona fans and those who have followed head coach Tony Amato’s team is they don’t go down without putting up a fight and nothing was more evident of that by what they showed in the final half.
In the 77th minute, Arizona’s Samantha Falasco gained control of a deflected ball off a corner kick from teammate Morgan McGarry. Falasco chipped one past keeper Shae Yanez giving the Wildcats life, trailing 2-1.
With a little bit of hope and momentum the ‘Cats kept their foot on the pedal looking for the equalizer. Senior Kennedy Kieneker found what the Wildcats were looking for as she scored the second goal of the night two minutes after Falasco put the Wildcats on the board.
Things were looking up for Arizona with 10 minutes left in the match before both teams would have gone into extra time. But Tennessee found a way to pull a rabbit out of a hat in the final 55 seconds.
Marcano, who scored to open the second half, once again found the back of the net, giving her the second goal of the night, but more importantly, the winning goal as she lifted Tennessee to a 3-2 victory.
Arizona’s season comes to familiar end as it lost in the second round to Florida State last season, but there’s no reason to think the Wildcats will not be back next year as Amato and his young team will look to bounce back.
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