Arizona’s Jill Aguilera lined up and easily shot the penalty kick in overtime past ASU goalkeeper Julia Ortega to lift the Arizona soccer team to a win in the final game of the season and set a program record of 33 career goals scored.
Arizona won their seventh straight game against ASU by a score of 2-1 in a dramatic overtime fashion at Mulcahy Stadium in Tucson on Friday, Nov. 5.
Arizona's goalkeeper Hope Hisey saved the first shot of the game in the fifth minute to keep ASU at bay. Arizona controlled possession early with a strong defensive press. In the 12th minute, Aguilera was hit hard by an ASU player and responded with her impressive goal to take the lead 1-0.
Arizona senior Jill Aguilera took the free-kick that soared from the right of the box, over ASU’s goalkeeper’s head to net her 32nd career goal. The strike in the 13th minute made program history as Aguilera tied the scoring record.
The team looked to feed Aguilera for the goal that would extend her record to 33 goals but they were unable to get the ball in the goal with shots in the 17th and 18th minute. The shot in the 18th minute led to an Arizona corner that went into the side of the net.
The defense continued to play ASU hard, dominating possession and taking passes away from the Sun Devils. Hisey continued to stop the ball from equalizing the game in the 17th minute and another incredible leaping save in the 29th minute.
ASU was able to take 2 shots before the half but had one saved by Hisey in the 30th minute and the second shot blocked in the 39th minute. Arizona went into the half with a 1-0 lead over ASU.
Aguilera got the shot taking started in the 50th and 51st minute but was unable to convert either shot. She continued to dominate shots taken. Both teams battled until ASU Nicole Douglas scored the equalizer off a header that was assisted by ASU defender Lauren Kirberg in the 82nd minute. The second half ended in a 1-1 tie and the game went to overtime.
Arizona got a corner early in the overtime period which led to a close shot from Iliana Hocking. After that, there was a foul that led to Aguilera’s record-setting game-winner. Aguilera reflected on making history in the final game of her college career.
“A lot of emotions, I didn’t want to let any out until the game was fully over, but everything I do is for this team,” Aguilera said. “It feels great honestly. You know so many different players go through so many adverse times in their life and you know, I’m just another one. And to be able to do something with that it means a lot and I’m just happy to be here and to see our team's hard work pay off.”
Head coach Becca Moros confirmed the game plan to feed Aguilera the ball.
“We call it feeding the beast, so Jill's the beast, so we wanted to make sure that we gave her every opportunity. She's just unbelievable in front of the goal so that's generally part of our game plan all the time,” Moros said, “But knowing that this game had a lot of emotional things on the line, you know, the rivalry with ASU, Jill's opportunity to both tie and beat the school record and also to send ourselves and our seniors out on a really high note.”
Arizona finishes the season with a record of 5-13-0 but ended the season on a high note in Moros's first year as head coach.
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