In their return home after the Sun Devil State Classic, Arizona soccer was unable to complete a spirited second-half comeback against No. 21 Texas Tech. The final score from Mulcahy Stadium was 2-1 on Thursday, Sept. 9.
Texas Tech started the game strong, being aggressive early with forwarding Kirsten Davis firing a quick shot which missed the goal and went out right late in the 2nd minute. Arizona forward Jill Aguilera followed with her first shot but couldn’t score in the 8th minute.
For the majority of the first half, it was a battle of possession with Arizona and Texas Tech, each building attacks against the other team. Texas Tech looked more composed offensively during the half. Texas Tech fired off a total of nine shots in the first half to Arizona’s three shots. All of Arizona’s shots came from Aguilera. After a hard played 45 minutes, the teams went into halftime tied 0-0.
Arizona started the second half with an early opportunity as Madison Goerlinger took a shot that was deflected over the top of the goal in the 47th minute. Then the momentum shifted towards Texas Tech in the 48th minute when Davis took a long shot that slipped past Arizona goalkeeper Hope Hisey.
Arizona was quickly able to take some momentum back by earning a penalty kick in the 49th minute. Aguilera took the penalty which went over the top of the goal. Possession went back and forth between the two teams with shots coming from both teams. In the 61st minute, Davis earned an assist on a goal scored by Ashleigh Williams to bring Texas Tech’s lead to 2-0.
Texas Tech held possession in Arizona’s half until Sabrina Enciso crossed the ball to Marley Chappel who put the ball in the back of the net in the 74th minute. This was Chappel’s first goal in her Arizona career and brought the score to 2-1. Arizona played an inspired end to the game fighting until the last second to try and find the equalizing goal but was unable to score the equalizing goal.
After the game, Chappel reflected on her first goal and said, “It was an adrenaline rush and Sabs [Sabrina Enciso] played it in the box and I just remember ‘I have to get there and stuck my foot out and as soon as you know it it’s in the back of the net,"
"It was a very happy moment, very exciting and I think it brought the energy up with the team which is what I wanted to do but I couldn’t have done it without the buildup of the whole team," Chappel said.
Looking back at her team’s performance and the results of the game, head coach Becca Moros said, “I hate losing but I’m really proud of them," Moros said. "It’s the best game we’ve played by far, the most complete performance we’ve had, the best defensive organization."
"We made a few mistakes, we didn’t capitalize on a few opportunities but the scoreline could definitely have been different for us and that’s the first sign of what we’re going to become and another month we’ll be a much better team than we are now," Moros said.
Arizona soccer’s record now stands at 2-3 and faces off against Nebraska on Sunday, Sept. 12 at Mulcahy Stadium in Tucson at 1 p.m. MST.
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