Arizona soccer wins its season opener against Iowa State

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Tia Stephens | The Daily Wildcat

Number 0, Hope Hisey, a junior on the Arizona soccer team, blocks a shot on goal and proceeds to kick the ball down the field from the goalie box, clearing the ball from her goal on Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium on Sept. 9. The Wildcats would go on to lose the game 1-2 to Texas Tech.

The Arizona soccer team secured a win against Iowa State in their season’s opening game with a final score of 2-1 Thursday night at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium. The stadium was packed with excited fans who were fired up by Arizona soccer Manager/Drummer Gustav Vestgard. 

At the beginning of the game, Iowa State came out ready to go, maintaining more possession of the ball than Arizona, and tested keeper Hope Hisey with a shot on goal two minutes into the game. Waking up Arizona, Nyota Katembo brought intensity to the field by starting an attack and pushing the ball up the field. This resulted in a shot on Iowa's goal that went over in the fifth minute. 

Freshman Ella Hatteberg overlapped Katembo and got a cross resulting in a shot in the 16th minute. Hatteberg’s mindset was attack-driven, hungry for more. With neither team scoring goals, the half ended at 0-0. 

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In the first minute of the second half, a fan collapsed due to a seizure; therefore, the game was stopped until the ambulance arrived on the scene. Eventually, the half started again, but after the delay, the energy of the game changed. In the 47th minute, Arizona’s goalie Hisey was caught high on her line and missed a shot taken by Iowa's Jasmine Colbert, making the score 1-0. 

This fueled Arizona's fire, snapping them right back into the game. A quick give-and-go took place in the 60th minute with Mariah Dunn, and then someone ripped a hard shot on Iowa's goalie Jordan Silkowitz, who deflected the shot. 

The ball was sent down the field and went out of bounds on Iowa's goal line, giving Arizona the corner. The corner was taken by Sami Baytosh in the 81st minute, who flew into a group of girls, reflecting off of forward Quincy Bonds and one of Iowa's defenders, tying the game 1-1. This was Bonds's first game back after coming off an injury and she was excited to be back on the field. 

“[I am] extremely fired up and ready to get back on the pitch after a couple of months of not being out here," Bonds said. 

Bonds’ unmatched speed was something Arizona benefited from during the game. The game then grew extremely physical, leading to a free kick against Arizona that went right over the goal in the 84th minute. 

Arizona then maintained the ball for the remaining minutes, causing another corner kick on Iowa's Baytosh, resulting in another own goal on Iowa's defenders in the 86th minute. 

The game ended in a 2-1 win for the Arizona Wildcats. 

Head coach Rebecca Moros stated that this win was an excellent way for Arizona to start their season.

“This win is huge for us — it's a product of all the little things you do well, but it’s also the belief in what you’re doing," Moros said. 

The team came back from being down 1-0, proving that they have grit and a desire to come back. 

In the spring season, the team worked on a few key skills to take the team to the next level.

“We worked on the timing of our movement [and] how [we find] a higher player to find someone underneath to create space again  …  We continued to work on our spacing," Moros said. "The coordination of our movement has been getting better and better.” 

This showed in the final score of 2-1 against the Iowa State Cyclones. 

Arizona will play again on Sunday, Aug. 21, against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.


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