The Arizona soccer team finished the weekend 1-1 against the University of Utah and the University of Colorado.
First-year coach Becca Moros and the Arizona Wildcats celebrated their first Pac-12 win in their match against Utah on Thursday night (0-1).
At Mulcahy Stadium, both the teams came out strong, having multiple occasions to score in the first 13 minutes. Two shots found the target, but both the goalkeepers, Hope Hisey and Chelsea Peterson, saved the shots with good efforts. At the 14th minute, sophomore Megan Chelf had a good opportunity to find the net, but her shot was deflected by keeper Peterson. Jill Aguilera came first on the ball and put that in with an easy tap-in, while the keeper was still laying on the ground after the save.
That was Aguilera's 31st goal in a Wildcats jersey. Now she’s only one goal away to tie for first place in career goals in the history of the program.
Utah tried to get back soon after conceding the goal. Courtney Talbot, midfielder, had an open look at the 24th minute, but Hisey saved. Ali Schinko went close to even it up at the 31st minute, but again, Hisey was ready to deflect the shot. Right before halftime, Eden Jacobsen tried with another shot, but the ball rattled out.
In the second half, both teams started relatively slow, studying the asset of the opponent and keeping themselves balanced. The first opportunity came again on the foot of Schinko who shot in the left corner, but Hisey was there to save once again. Chelf and Madison Goerlinger both had good opportunities to score the second for the Wildcats, but Peterson deflected the first shot and the second one went high over the posts.
The Wildcats defended the advantage without conceding great opportunities for the rest of the period. The only other shot for Utah came at the 82nd minute from Avery Brady, but it was an easy save for Hisey.
In the end, Hisey played another unbelievable game, saving the Wildcats multiple times. Aguilera scored the game-winner and now she’s one goal shy from an amazing record.
"It's huge. It’s been a monkey on our backs for a while. We have played well in games, fought evenly in a lot of games, and thought we could have come away with some wins, but we just haven't," said Moros. "But I think tonight helps our spirits as far as turning a corner and knowing that we can play this style and we can beat people in this style of play."
After the win on Thursday against Utah, the Arizona Wildcats lost 1-0 on Sunday against Colorado.
The match started slow, the first attempt arrived at the 14th minute, with Buffs Gabbi Chapa unable to find the target. Again, Hannah Sharts for Colorado tried to aim at the top corner left at the 18th minute, but Hisey was there to save.
Arizona tried to threaten goalkeeper Dani Hansen with a corner kick on a couple of occasions, but without going close to score. Moros’ team tried first to avoid any danger and then to try and score on the counterattack without being able to provide many opportunities in the first half. On the other side, Colorado struggled too to break Arizona’s wall. Haileigh Adams tried at the 42nd minute but the attempt went wide.
In the second half, Colorado conquered a couple of corner kicks but didn’t find a way to deliver the first goal. The first opportunity came on the foot of Sofia Weiner, whose shot was saved by Hisey. Aguilera at the 56th minute tried to react, but her shot was blocked by Hansen. At the 59th minute, Lawson Willis served a good ball to Shyra James who capitalized sending the ball where Hisey couldn’t arrive and scored.
Aguilera tried again to reply at the 61st minute, but Hansen saved again. Wildcat Olivia Briede went close at the 70th minute but her effort went just wide. The Wildcats tried hard in the last 20 minutes to find the equalizer. In the 79th minute, Aguilera attempted another shot which was again saved by Hansen. On the other side, James had a good chance to score the second goal for Colorado, but her shot went high over the bar.
In the end, Goerlinger and Chelf were among the bests between the Wildcats, while Aguilera failed to find the net to tie for goal record in the history of the program and Arizona suffered a narrow defeat.
The Wildcats will play their final regular-season match at Mulcahy Stadium on Friday, Nov. 5, against in-state rival ASU.
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