Soccer struggles in second half of loss
Three games into the season the Arizona soccer squad remains winless after allowing three goals in the second half of a 4-1 loss to the University of San Diego Toreros last night.
The Wildcats looked to have the momentum early, striking first on a free kick by Leila Amini from about 19 feet out in the 25th minute.
But in the 33rd minute, San Diego forward Erica Peeples responded with a breakaway goal after taking the ball away from lackadaisical Arizona defenders, squeezing the ball past Arizona goalkeeper Devon Wharf. Peeples scored her second goal of the game in the 75th minute.
""Both of (Peeples') goals were from our errors. When you cough the ball up in our defensive half, good teams such as San Diego are going to turn those chances into goals,"" Arizona head coach Dan Tobias said.
After giving up the lead, Arizona never quite regained the momentum it had in the first 25 minutes of the game. The tying goal by the Toreros swung the momentum in their favor for rest of the game.
""We just got sloppy, it was one second where you just don't concentrate like you should, and they get a goal and the momentum,"" Amini said. ""We have to just stay focused the entire 90 minutes; we can't allow fatigue to be a factor.""
Despite losing the momentum, the Wildcats went into halftime tied 1-1.
In the second half San Diego scored early, in the 52nd minute, on a goal by midfielder Hallie Huston on an assist from forward Stephanie Ochs as the Wildcat defenders struggled to get back on defense.
""It was disappointing that we lost a little momentum,"" Tobias said. ""Turnovers can kill you, especially when you turn the ball over in the back third of the field.""
Despite a rough start to the season, Tobias made sure the players didn't dwell on the loss.
""I pulled the team after the game and told them we are a good team,"" he said. ""We're going to continue to be a good team, but I know it's going to sting because of the score. But the score is deceiving because we outshot them, and our goaltender had to make one save.""
Arizona was without one of their top scorers, forward Renae Cuellar, who sat out the game. When asked to comment, Tobias only said Cuellar was not available for the game.
In the game prior to the loss, Arizona tied with Northern Arizona University 2-2 on Friday night with senior forward Jasmine Namdar and Amini scoring the goals.
The Wildcats will attempt to earn their first win of the season Friday against the University of Virginia in the Arizona State Tournament in Tempe.