For the first time all season, the Arizona Wildcats are ranked among the top 25, checking in at No. 25 in this week’s United Soccer Coaches poll. The 'Cats had previously received just one vote the entire year despite their impressive start to the season, coming away with wins against TCU and Oklahoma earlier in the year. Arizona will look to add to its resume this weekend as the squad travels to the northwest region to face No. 15 Washington State on Thursday and Washington on Sunday.
Washington State University has an overall record of 9-2 with conference wins against a previously undefeated Oregon State team and an overtime win against Berkeley. They are 2-1 in Pac-12 play as their only loss came from No. 2 ranked Stanford. The Cougars are loaded with experience, as nine of its 11 starters are upperclassmen.
Washington State isn’t known to be much of a threat, but they're having a good 2019 campaign. The team has defeated TCU, Oregon and Cal and is 6-3-2 overall. Sophomore forward Summer Yates leads the team in goals with five and in points with 14.
For Arizona, they enter the weekend with a bit of confidence after going 1-1 against the Southern California teams and they beat UCLA for just the second time in school history. Forwards Jada Talley and Brooke Wilson continue to wreck opposing defenses with their speed and shooting as the duo make up almost half of the team’s total points with a combined 27. The Wildcats are 7-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
What to watch for this weekend:
Can Arizona hold off Washington State’s high-level offense?
Although Washington State has only scored two more goals than Arizona in 2019, the Cougars have 209 total shots this season and are No. 3 in the nation with 21.33 shots per game. They also rank No. 5 in the country with 9.67 shots on goal per game. Arizona should contest well, as the defensive unit conceded just one goal against one of the best teams in the country in USC and shut out UCLA last weekend.
Hisey is the hope of the future
Freshman goalkeeper Hope Hisey has been tremendous in her first three conference matches. The Tucson native led the Wildcats to their 3-0 win over UCLA while allowing just three goals and making 14 saves in her last three games, six of them against Colorado two weeks ago.
The action begins on Thursday at 7 pm. against Washington State and will continue on Sunday at noon against Washington, both games airing on the Pac-12 Networks.
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