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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


‘Cats host pair of elite teams

Gordon Bates  / Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA loses 2-1 to ASU at ASU Friday Oct 15
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA loses 2-1 to ASU at ASU Friday Oct 15

There is no rest in the Pacific 10 Conference when it comes to soccer.

After dropping a tight match to rival ASU last weekend, the Wildcats soccer team will host a pair of the nation’s best teams this weekend in Tucson, starting with California tonight at 7 and then No. 1 Stanford on Sunday at noon.

Against the Sun Devils, Arizona ended up on the wrong end of an evenly played match on both sides. The Wildcats displayed the energy that head coach Lisa Oyen has been looking for but left Tempe empty handed.

“”I think we were on the right path. The encouraging part is that we didn’t come out of last week’s game without a solution,”” Oyen said. “”It was encouraging to know that we have a way we can win games, but now it’s just seeing if we can do the little things to change close games into wins.””

The nature of the Pac-10 won’t allow Arizona to test its adjustments against a weaker opponent. Instead, the Wildcats return home after a three game road stint with the talented Bears (7-3-4, 2-2 Pac-10) and Cardinal waiting.

Stanford is undoubtedly deserving of its current number one ranking. The Cardinal (13-0-2, 4-0 Pac-10) has won 12 games in a row and feature immense depth on their roster — five different players scored for Stanford last week.

“”They’ve got depth, and they’ve got some very talented players. Both teams have players who are the top players in the country right now,”” Oyen said.

The Wildcats know how good their opponents this weekend are and relish the fact that they play the nation’s top teams week in and week out.

Oyen talked about how in training this week, there was a palpable sense of motivation from players to see how they would measure up against the elite talent of Stanford.

“”To play against teams like this is fun and exciting because it gives our team a natural incentive to do well. Besides just being in our conference, they get to play Stanford who is the number one team in the country right now,”” Oyen said.

“”It’s a huge motivator to play well against the best. Our players come to the UA to play in the Pac-10. They come because they want to play with and against the best players in the country.””

Tactically, the Wildcats made minor adjustments from last weekend’s match, feeling that they played the kind of game that was good enough to walk away with a win.

Whether the loss to rival ASU will deflate or light a fire in the team will be something to watch as the Wildcats play this weekend.

“”Are we going to come out frustrated because we didn’t get a win last week, or are we going to come out fired up because we didn’t get a win? I think it will be the latter,”” Oyen said.


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