The Arizona soccer team literally fought hard against Loyola Marymount before being knocked out with a seemingly impossible 40-yard goal.
Loyola Marymount midfielder Lacey Bartels shot from 40 yards, giving her team the 2-1 lead in the 54th minute by scoring a nearly impossible goal past Arizona goalkeeper Ashley Jett.
""Goals like that aren't scored very often in soccer,"" said Arizona head coach Dan Tobias. ""That was a bomb from 40 yards away to the far post. I think she deserves credit for hitting a great shot, but part of me, without showing disrespect, would have liked to see her take that shot again because it wasn't an easy shot.""
Shorthanded by injuries, Arizona (3-7-1) started the game better than Tobias could have hoped, as freshman Brittany Berger, making her first career start, had an impressive goal of her own in the third minute. Berger gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead with a shot just outside the penalty box.
""It's a moment as a player she is never going to forget, and as a coach, it's fun because you couldn't have scripted (it) better,"" Tobias said. ""The first shot in her first career start, she scores the first goal of the game; I thought that was awesome.""
The Wildcats didn't hold on to the early lead for long, as the Lions responded with a goal three minutes later. Lions forward Cori McGovern scored on a header to knot the game at 1-1 before the Wildcats had a chance to enjoy the lead.
Two minutes before the half, both teams got feisty as Arizona midfielder Jasmine Namdar collided with Loyola Marymount's Erin Rementer near the sideline. As both players fell to the ground, Rementer stood up and kicked Namdar.
Before the officials could get everything under control, Arizona midfielder Macke Mutz came over in defense of her teammate and shoved Rementer to the ground. Both Rementer and Mutz received red cards after the incident.
""We both kind of went up hard and she fell down on me,"" Namdar said after the game. ""When we got up … there were no words exchanged, but she went in for the kill at the end. I didn't even see Macke hit her and next thing I know, I get up (and) they're both getting red cards.""
Coming out of the halftime break with the score tied at one, it was expected that both teams would come out fired up after the altercation.
But the second half was a dud, as both teams played conservatively, never threatening to score aside from the miraculous game-winning goal by Bartels.
Tobias was proud of the way his team played, despite being without two of its top players, and said he feels that his team is ready for its Pacific 10 Conference schedule, which starts Friday at UCLA.
""I think the group showed a lot of character and resiliency, considering we started five freshmen,"" Tobias said. ""I think we played our best soccer of the season, and I think that's important going into Pac-10 play.""