One goal was all the difference for the University of Arizona women’s soccer team in its victory over in-state rival Arizona State Friday, Nov. 2. For the past three years the Wildcats have come out on top with only one goal over their opponent.
It seems that the defenders always step up to make that difference against ASU. In 2016, center back Samantha Falasco scored the game-winning goal off a corner kick. This time it was outside back Morgan McGarry scoring in the 7th minute who would give her team the lead and eventual win.
A ball was played in for a corner kick. Two of McGarry’s teammates were able to get a touch on the ball in toward the goal, but an ASU defender deflected one out and the other hit the top bar. McGarry scored a right-footed volley off the top bar deflection and into the back of the net.
With that win, Arizona has won another Territorial Cup series and finished its season 12-5-2.
Head coach Tony Amato said he was happy to pick up another win on the road before hopefully heading into the NCAA Tournament.
“I think every game is a challenge. Everyone knows in the Pac-12 that anyone can beat you, and no matter what the record is, you go into a game and you throw it out the window,” Amato said. “Hopefully you have the mentality that you can beat anyone and anyone can beat you, and that keeps you on an edge to perform well.”
It’s always a battle between rivals. The ‘Cats stepped up first by winning a corner kick in the first minute, scoring in the 7th and maintaining much of the possession throughout the first half. Arizona had six corner kicks to ASU’s one by the end of the game.
The fantastic four – McGarry, Falsco, Hallie Pearson and Sabrina Enciso – protected their net and caused Arizona State a lot of stress. It came down to small things, like sliding tackles, getting goal side and making runs to get behind the ball, that made it all worth it in the end.
Arizona knew it had to get a result out of this match to possibly host a game at the NCAA tournament.
Before the game, Arizona was ranked No. 27 per the NCAA Women’s soccer RPI and Arizona State was No. 40. The win helped the Arizona reach the NCAA Tournament as the Wildcats were selected to host Denver in the first round on Friday.
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