The Arizona soccer team defeated the University of Oregon for the first time since 2019, beating the Ducks 4-1 on senior day, Oct. 30.
The Wildcats have won five of their last seven games and improved their record to 8-6-3 (5-4-1). Additionally, the Wildcats' four goals were the most scored in a single game this season.
“I hope this isn’t my last time playing here,” Iliana Hocking senior midfielder said, “but if it is, I am really proud of the outcome.”
Both teams were aggressive early, putting multiple shots on net. Junior forward Nicole Dallin put the Wildcats on the board in the 21st minute off a penalty shot which was just outside of the box. Dallin's goal was her fifth on the season and her third in the past two games.
Ten minutes later, freshman midfielder Sami Baytosh headed the ball to junior forward Jordan Hall, who then headed the ball into the back of Oregon's net, putting the Wildcats up 2-0. Hall’s goal was her third on the season, and Baytosh picked up her fourth assist on the season.
However, the Ducks were able to cut their two-goal deficit in half after sophomore forward Kaitlyn Paculba scored off a cross in the 39th minute.
The Wildcats went into halftime with a 2-1 lead. Arizona had nine shots in the first half versus Oregon’s seven.
Arizona came out aggressive in the second half, scoring five minutes in after sophomore Olivia Briede slid the ball past the defender to junior forward Jordan Hall, who scored her second goal of the game in the 50th minute. Hall picked up her fourth goal of the season, while Briede got her first assist of the season.
The Wildcats continued their aggressive play as they nearly added another goal in the 60th minute, but Oregon’s goalie was able to get her hands on Dallin’s shot. By the 65th minute, the Wildcats had already totaled for seven shots in the half compared to one shot by the Ducks.
The Wildcats scored their fourth and final goal during the 89th minute after sophomore forward Desiree Foster fired a deep shot, which was deflected into the net by an Oregon defender, making the score 4-1. Foster’s goal was her first of the season and the second of her career.
When asked how the team's mindset changed after halftime, Hocking said, “We needed to get a couple more goals because 2-1 is not exactly a safe feeling, so we all knew we had to come out with a bang.”
Arizona dominated the entire second half totaling 12 shots compared to Oregon’s two shots in the second half. The Wildcats finished the game with a total of 21 shots, 11 being on net.
“I think we just stuck to our gameplan,” head Arizona soccer coach Becca Moros said postgame. “I think we have slowly been doing well, and we’re constantly doing better.”
The next game for the Wildcats is on the road in Tempe against ASU on Friday, Nov. 4.
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