The Wildcats finished up a challenging week of play by tying top ranked UCLA, 2-2. The Bruins came to Tucson Sunday afternoon with a total of 11 wins and one tie, enough to earn the number one spot in NCAA soccer.
“Them being the number one team in the country, I think that a tie to us almost feels like a win because we poured our hearts out. We’ve been working hard every game,” said junior goalie Lainey Burdett.
The Bruins got off to a quick and hot start in Tucson. At the 20:37 minute mark, junior Hailie Mace buried the first goal of the game putting the Bruins up 1-0. Shortly after, UCLA sophomore Anika Rodriguez put the Bruins up 2-0 scoring on a penalty kick from inside the box.
In search of a spark for the ‘Cats head coach Tony Amato made some substitutions to the lineup. A group of freshman players including Hannah Clifford and Jill Aguilera entered the game for the Wildcats and immediately lifted the team. In the 35th minute Clifford got the ‘Cats back on track with her first career goal, but UCLA was still up 2-1.
“Within thirty seconds of them coming on we scored the goal and that kind of gave us an up tick. If we kept plodding along, didn’t make those changes and they scored the