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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Mid-season report card

Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona soccer team has passed the halfway point of the 2010 season, and will enter Pacific 10 Conference play with four wins — the same number the Wildcats finished with all of last year.

Head coach Lisa Oyen has guided the Wildcats (4-5-2) into making concrete improvements on the field. Before Pac-10 play begins, here are midseason grades for different aspects of Arizona’s team.

Goalkeeping: A-

In her first year as the primary keeper, junior Ashley Jett is relishing every minute, and showing Arizona’s coaches and players the results of her hard work.

Jett has been as reliable as can be after taking over between the posts in the third game of the year. She missed the first two games due to injury, but has been the voice of the defense ever since, and currently leads the Pac-10 in total saves (53) and saves per game (5.89).

Oyen has referred to Jett more than once as being the vocal leader of the defense, and it’s an assignment that Jett takes pride in.

“”I think it’s my role since I can see the whole field and know the flow of the game. Keeping it organized back there kind of falls on my shoulders as being one of the older players on the field,”” Jett said.

Senior Macke Mutz also acknowledged Jett’s leadership, adding: “”She’s been awesome, it’s good to get someone back there with a voice that knows the team.””

Defense: B-

Entering conference play, the Wildcats have allowed the most goals (24) of any other team in the Pac-10, and have the highest average of goals allowed per game (2.18)

However, playing in the super conference that is the Pac-10, those statistics are not telling of the improvements the Arizona back four has made since the first game.

The Wildcats allowed eight goals in their first two games, and let up five in a head-scratching loss to Ohio State three weeks ago.

That leaves a total of 11 goals allowed in Arizona’s other eight games (1.375 per game average), which is a more truthful portrayal of the Wildcats’ play from their defense.

Consistency remains the defense’s biggest Achilles’ heel, and if Oyen can continue to get solid play from the back four more routinely, the Wildcats will position themselves to upset some teams in conference play.

Offense: C+

Arizona has been without junior leading scorer Renae Cuellar since September 12 due to injury, and will seemingly be without her for an extended period of time.

To the Wildcats’ credit, they have not made excuses in her absence, but the goals have been fewer and far-er between — UA is tied for last in total goals in the Pac-10 (16).

The talent is there for Arizona in the form of freshmen Jazmin Ponce, Ana Montoya, and Jensen Skinner, who all boast the skill sets needed to provide offensive sparks.

Arizona has recently shown its ability to create scoring opportunites, but has lacked the finishing touch that results in goals scored.

If the Wildcats can continue to develop their attack and finish on passes up top, they will become a more complete team.

 

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