Arizona soccer struggles in season opener

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Alan Walsh | The Daily Wildcat Alan Walsh / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona soccer team (0-1) knew coming into the season opener that they would have a fairly young team and on Sunday night it showed as they dropped their season opener 2-1 to UC Irvine.


""We had too many unforced errors, no one pressured and we just gave the ball away,"" said Arizona head coach Dan Tobias.  ""We didn't come out the way we had wanted to and the result showed that.""


The Anteaters struck first as forward Carly Crowder scored off a deflection in the 30th minute to take a 1-0 lead.


After struggling to get anything going throughout majority of the first half, Arizona sophomore Renae Cueller gave the wildcats a much needed goal, tying the game just before the end of the half in the 41st minute by connecting from about 12 feet.


""I thought it was great that we came back and got the equalizer right before halftime,"" Tobias said. ""We didn't want to go to halftime down one, and it really helped our attitude.""


In the second half, both teams started slowly but UC Irvinewas able to capitalize as forward Mar Rodriguez scored on what was the game-winning goal in the 68th minute.


The wildcats continued to have scoring opportunities but the same inconsistencies they had showed throughout the match continued through regulation.


""We're a brand new team pretty much,"" said goalkeeper Devon Wharf. ""We have nine freshman on our team.


""So we had great moments and then we would lose possession, but it's only our first game,"" she added. ""We still have 19 more games left to work after this.""


Arizona has 11 freshmen on their roster and about six saw the field in the season opener. Tobias expects the freshmen to make major contributions this season.


""We have a lot of freshmen with really strong backgrounds and they've shown over the two weeks of preseason that they can play at this level,"" he said. ""I think that speaks well for our program for the future, but we I think we got outworked quite a bit and it's my job to prepare them.""


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