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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Namdar steps up for ‘Cats as verbal leader on field

    Arizona utility player Jasmine Namdar fends off Oregons Mercedes Walters during a 1-0 Ducks win Sunday at Murphey Field. Although Namdars team-first approach to the game doesnt show much in terms of statistics, she plays a key role in the Wildcats offensive attack.
    Arizona utility player Jasmine Namdar fends off Oregon’s Mercedes Walters during a 1-0 Ducks’ win Sunday at Murphey Field. Although Namdar’s team-first approach to the game doesn’t show much in terms of statistics, she plays a key role in the Wildcats’ offensive attack.

    On paper, Arizona soccer forward Jasmine Namdar is a fairly quiet player.

    She’s easy to lose track of among the Wildcats’ offense with attackers like London King, Renae Cuellar and Karina Camacho – all of whom have four or more goals on the season to go with at least one game-winner.

    Namdar only has six career goals and only one has ever decided a game.

    The junior doesn’t typically stand out in the box score, nor is she the one getting all the attention after a game. But despite an apparent role of supporting cast member, the San Diego, Calif., native is always there, working to set herself or her teammates up for that crucial goal.

    This past weekend, the work paid off and Namdar vaulted herself from the cast of supporters to top dog with a game-tying goal, and an assist for the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Oregon State Fridayÿ-ÿone that helped keep Arizona’s fragile postseason chances alive.

    Yet the soft-spoken Namdar wasn’t about to boast about her big night.

    “”It was just good timing and good positioning I guess,”” Namdar said. “”We know (midfielder Macke Mutz) has a good throw (in) and she put it right where it needed (to be).I just happened to be there.””

    According to UA head coach Dan Tobias, Namdar rarely “”just happen(s) to be there.”” He said she has always impressed him with her ability at gaining strategic position.

    With her size not being much of an advantageÿ- she stands at 5-foot-5 -ÿNamdar has been forced to rely heavily on her speed and technique to gain an

    advantage on the opposition.

    For the most part, she makes it work as she is involved on nearly every Arizona possession, especially on the Wildcats’ attacks.

    “”She’s the kind of player who helps you sustain a lot of attacks,”” Tobias said. “”Players of that nature are like Wayne Gretzky people. They’re there always looking to see where the ball is going to go and they position themselves accordingly.

    “”(Namdar is) not a physically imposing player, but she’s quick,”” Tobias added. “”She’s very cerebral, very smart.””

    Namdar’s speed and intellect has already paid off on various occasions so far this year, including last weekend’s home win over the Beavers in which she scored her second goal of the season and recorded her first assist.

    Her only other goal came in an early October showdown with Santa Clara. The forward took only seven seconds of game time before notching what became the game-winning goal in a 2-0 win in Arizona’s final nonconference matchup.

    It was her knowledge of the game coming through as she strategically positioned herself for a rebound on a shot by Cuellar. Namdar then placed the ball into the right corner of the net.

    Again, she “”just happened to be there.””

    In addition to her knack for positioning herself in front of the goal, Namdar’s teammates say her vocal approach to the game is crucial to the team as well, despite her soft-spoken nature off the field.

    “”Jazzy brings energy, she’s very loud on the field and that gets people fired up,”” King said. “”When she’s wide open she’ll call for the ball and let you know that she’s there, and that’s always nice because sometimes I feel we might have more chances than what shows up on paper, and it’s because we’re not always vocal enough calling for the ball.””

    But don’t let Namdar’s desire for the ball suggest she’s a selfish player. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, as she even switched positions when she first arrived at Arizona from her normal spot as a forward to the outside-midfield position because “”it was where the team needed me,”” she said.

    “”Whatever the team needs, that’s what I feel is my job,”” Namdar said. “”I just stay positive, work hard and things will come whether it be goals or assists or just being part of the attacking and offensive lines.””

    Now back at her usual forward position, Namdar is a primary tool in Arizona’s attack. But even with her recent streak of production, her nature as a member of the Wildcats’ supporting cast member is still well ingrained within her skull.

    “”Everyone contributes in our own way,”” Namdar said. “”I don’t think any one person is the go-to person. We all help each other because forwards can’t do it by themselves.””

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