The Arizona women’s soccer team defeated the Oregon State Beavers Friday, Mar 12 in Corvallis, Oregon by a score of 3-1. This was their first Pac-12 win of the season after starting 0-2 in conference play.
As usual, the Wildcats came onto the pitch aggressive with a strong offensive attack. The Wildcats dominated the first half with their relentless offense. Within the first 10 minutes of the match, they had three corner kick opportunities. They had also taken four shots on the opposing goal within the first 13 minutes.
This nonstop pressure eventually penetrated the Beaver’s defense when forward Jill Aguilera smashed in a header off an amazing cross from Ava Hetzel in the ninth minute. Only five minutes later, Hetzel came up clutch again with a rebound and off a missed penalty kick from Jada Talley.
Hetzel had an astounding game offensively and defensively. She seemed to always be in the right place at the right time and had a greater impact than any other player on the pitch.
At the end of the first half, the Wildcats had seven shots, three corners, three saves and five fouls. The Beavers had seven shots, two corners, three saves and four fouls.
Down 2-0, the Beavers changed their approach greatly in the second half of the match. They became much more aggressive and attempted to flip the script on the Wildcats by forcing them to play more defense than offense.
Five minutes into the second half, the Beavers’ Nicole Nickerson scored on a header off an assist from Kaillen Fried. This cut the Wildcats’ lead in half as the score was then 2-1.
However, just when the Beavers began to gain some momentum, the Wildcats were able to take back their two-goal lead. In the 56th minute of the match, Talley scored on an absolute screamer from outside the box in the most exciting play of the night to make the score 3-1 in favor of the Wildcats. After missing her penalty shot in the first half, Talley certainly redeemed herself with an ESPN Top-10 worthy shot.
Although they had their work cut out for them to try and get back into the match, the Beavers did not give up easily. They took four more shots than the Wildcats in the second half and kept attacking the Wildcats’ defense which led to some foul trouble. Four Wildcats received yellow cards in the second half alone, with Mariah Dunn receiving her second in the 82nd minute of the match leading to her ejection.
Even with only 10 players on the pitch, the Wildcats’ lead was simply too large for the Beavers to overcome. At the end of the second half, the final stats were 10 shots, six corners, four saves and 10 fouls for the Wildcats. The Beavers: 14 shots, five corners, four saves and five fouls.
With the pressures of winning their first conference game now lifted, the Wildcats will be looking to carry some momentum from this victory with them to Eugene, Oregon as they take on the Oregon Ducks Sunday, Mar 14.
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