Win No. 56 makes Tony Amato winningest coach in Arizona soccer history

Sofia Moraga | The Daily Wildcat Arizona Women's Soccer head coach, Tony Amato, directs his sitting team to look at a play that is unfolding during the Arizona-Houston Baptist on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018 at Mulcahy Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.

As the final whistle blew in the 90’, the scoreboard read 6-0 in favor of Arizona soccer on Sunday evening. 

The ‘Cats got their second win of the 2018 season and also handed head coach Tony Amato his 56th victory as a Wildcat, making him the winningest soccer coach in UA history. 

Blowing out Houston Baptist 6-0 in front of the 816 fans who were in attendance at Mulcahy Stadium, Amato strayed away from taking praise for his milestone in his Arizona coaching career and rather gave it to his players and staff.  

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“We can’t get any win accredited to my record if we don’t have players who are committed to the cause, buy into the vision and work their tails off,” Amato said. “I’ve been lucky to have an outstanding staff and support staff.” 

Amato said the win is more of a milestone for the program than it is for him.

“I think it’s a celebration of them, our support staff, our assistant coaches. I feel really fortunate to have the group I have and we have a lot more that we want to do moving forward, so I think this is a milestone so to speak, but we’re going to enjoy it tonight, enjoy the performance, but we’ve got a lot more we want to do,” Amato said.

UA Girls Soccer vs Houston Baptist
Arizona's Jada Talley (22) shoots the ball during the Arizona-Houston Baptist game on Sunday Aug. 26 at the Mulachy Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. Jada scored two out of the Wildcat's six goals during the game.

Two of the players that bought into the vision Amato mentioned also happened to have put goals in the back of the net in Sunday’s match. 

Sophomores Jada Talley and Sabrina Enciso were responsible for three of Arizona’s six goals as Talley scored twice and Enciso scored her first goal of her young Wildcat career.  

Both Talley and Enciso were thrilled to be part of Amato’s accomplishment and acknowledged the program continues to get better every year under his watch.

“It’s cool because we’ve been here since last year, we worked really hard last year,” Talley said. 

Coming off an impressive 11-5-4 record in 2017, the Wildcats overachieved on expectations from a season ago by hosting and winning an NCAA Tournament game. 

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Amato has slowly built a program on its way to competing with the top schools in the nation. 

Amato, who’s in his sixth season at Arizona, has turned Tucson into a soccer destination for top recruits to consider. 

Some of the new freshman that are contributing on the pitch have already caught the eye of their new teammates.

Sabrina Enciso, 16, evades the Houston Baptist forward during the Houston Baptist vs Arizona soccer game at the Mulcahy Stadium on Sunday. Enciso scored the third goal of the first half with a volley from the middle of the 18th.

“A lot of the incoming freshman, they’re a really good impact to our team,” Enciso said. “I feel really, really good about the season, I’m very excited.” 

Amato has been a head coach for a total of 15 seasons and holds a record 181-84-27, per Arizona Athletics. Amato began his UA career in December of 2012 and the ‘Cats finished the season 14-6-2.  

Before arriving in Tucson, Amato led Stephen F. Austin State University to conference titles in back-to-back years. The Jacks finished 15-3-1 record in 2011 17-4 in 2012.

Win No. 56 looks to be just one of many more achievements in Amato’s career at the UA.

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