In the first of two road games against the mountain schools, Arizona women’s soccer finished in a 3-3 tie in Boulder, Colorado against the Colorado Buffaloes.
The Wildcats appeared to take a quick lead in the early part of the game after the ball was deflected into Colorado’s net, but the goal was waived off because a foul was called on the play.
Shortly after, Colorado’s Sarah Kinzner launched a shot from distance that flew into the left corner of the net to give the Buffs a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute. The Wildcats went from having an apparent one-goal lead, to trailing by a goal in a matter of minutes.
To make things worse for Arizona, the Buffs scored just 120 seconds later on a header to make it 2-0.
Just before the half, it looked like Arizona was going to get on the board when a rocket of a shot by Jaden DeGracie was headed towards the right side of the net, but Colorado’s goalie, Kate Scheele, made an incredible diving save to keep the ‘Cats off the scoreboard.
The Wildcats outshot the Buffaloes 8-3 in the first half, but Colorado made its chances count and Arizona found itself down two goals heading into halftime, even though it controlled much of the pace.
“We just gave them a little too much space and they took their chances well,” Arizona head coach Tony Amato told the Pac-12 Network at halftime. “It was a great header and a good long-range shot, but we lost track of them on those opportunities and we’re going to have to clean that up.”
Needing to make up a two-goal deficit, Arizona’s high octane offense got to work.
In the 55th minute, a cross by Cali Crisler was volleyed by Jessica Nelson, but her shot hit off the crossbar. However, it was collected by Hannah Stevens who was able to sneak it past the goalie to make it a 2-1 game. It was Stevens’ fourth goal of the season.
The Buffs countered with a goal of their own just five minutes later to extend their lead to 3-1.
That score didn’t last long either, as Paige Crouch placed one in the top right corner to make it 3-2 two minutes later. The Buffaloes tried to clear an Arizona corner kick, but the failed attempt rolled right to Crouch who buried it for her fourth goal of the season.
With about 30 minutes left in the game and still down a goal, the Wildcats’ offense continued to attack.
In the 69th minute, Stevens had a few good chances in the box, but both shots were blocked. Stevens then got a header on net a few minutes later but that, too, was saved.
With about five minutes left in the game, Arizona displayed some impressive and timely passing to create an open chance. In the end, it resulted in a back-heel pass to a trailing Sheaffer Skadsen, who fired it into the right side of the net for the equalizer. It was Skaden’s second goal of the season, and both goals were equalizers late in their respective games. Kaitlyn Lopez and Hannah Wong were both credited with an assist on the play.
The last few minutes of the second half wind down, and the teams head to extra time.
In the second extra time, it looked as if the Wildcats had scored the golden goal when Crouch knocked the ball into the net after it was mishandled by Colorado’s goalie. The goal was disallowed, however, after it was ruled that the goalie already had possession, therefore making the play dead.
It was a questionable call, and for the second time in the game, the Wildcats had a goal disallowed. It ended up being the difference as the match would end in a 3-3 tie.
Nonetheless, it was a good showing by Arizona’s offense and it was a nice comeback for the team as a whole. Despite two of their better players, Gabi Stoian and Charlotte Brascia, missing the game due to injury, the Wildcats outshot the Buffaloes 23-10 and still managed to salvage a tie, even though they were down by two goals for much of the game.
Arizona is now 11-4-2 in the season, 5-3-1 in the Pac-12 Conference, and will head to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Utes on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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