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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Women’s soccer aims to end loss streak

Six straight losses. That’s a streak no sports team wants following it around, especially not early in the season.

The Arizona soccer team can end the losing spell this weekend, with the first game taking place tonight at 7:30 against Pacific at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Stadium. On Sunday, the Wildcats will face Texas Tech at 6 p.m.

Here’s a quick look at what’s been going right, what’s been going wrong and what the Wildcats are looking to do in the near future:

*Goal-scoring *

After being held scoreless for the first five games, and losing by a combined total of seven goals, the team finally scored its first two goals against the Oklahoma Sooners on Sunday. Freshman LeeAndra Smith and Brie DeFelice scored the first two goals of the season for the Wildcats.

“We finally scored a goal, which was nice, and that came from the hard work and dedication of some players,” said head coach Lisa Oyen.

Building the momentum

Junior defender Alex Smith thinks that those two scores against Oklahoma are key to getting the season on the right track.

“I mean, it can only get better than what we have been doing so far, so I mean, I really just hope that we can just not get down on ourselves and keep the momentum going and keep pushing forward,” Smith said.

Oyen said she believes the goals were bound to happen eventually, and that things are going to start going the team’s way.

“The law of probability is in our favor now, so it was a matter of time,” Oyen said. “We’ve had opportunities. We’ve had enough shots. It’s just really good to see that we can put the ball at the back of the net.”

Overcoming inexperience

The Wildcat roster includes only one senior — goalkeeper Ashley Jett — and has 15 underclassmen out of 25 players. But has that been a factor in the team’s struggles?

“It could be. We definitely have made some mistakes that we shouldn’t have,” Jett said.

She isn’t completely convinced that’s the sole reason for the struggles, however, as the two goals scored last weekend were both by freshmen.

“It’s been up and down,” Jett said. “We’ve definitely had moments where we’ve looked really good and looked like we’ve been planning on doing in practice and we’ve also had moments where we just broke down and that’s how a lot of our goals have been scored.”

Confidence remains

Frustration has been a factor in the team’s struggles in recent games.

“Sometimes we come out pretty hard,” Smith said, “but if we can’t find the back of the net right away we get frustrated. I think we just have to keep working together as a group and not get frustrated with the fact that if we can’t find the back of the net in the first 15 (minutes), we’re going to find it eventually.”

The general sentiment among the team seems to be that it is a lot more talented than its record indicates, and although the Wildcats might feel downtrodden at the moment, with hard work things will get better.

“We know that we have the talent, our record doesn’t show how much talent we have at all,” Jett said. “The confidence is still there, morale is a little bit down just because of our record but we know that we can still improve through the rest of the season.”

Looking ahead

Pac-12 play commences next weekend when the Wildcats travel to Palo Alto, Calif., to take on the Stanford Cardinal. The general feeling among team leaders is that the only thing the team can do at this point is move forward.

“We can’t afford to look back anymore,” Jett said. “We have to fight for every win now that we’re down in the rankings. We have to fight to still make the turn at the end and still make a good performance in the Pac-12.”

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