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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Soccer goes winless in 2-game home stand

    In an up-and-down weekend, the Arizona soccer team (6-4-0) took two steps back in a pair of home losses at Murphy Stadium this weekend.

    UCSanta Barbara (7-4-0) beat the Wildcats 1-0 in overtime last night and Long Beach State (6-3-2) handily disposed of Arizona 2-0 in Friday night’s contest. After brimming with confidence following a 6-2-0 start, the Wildcats couldn’t find the net in either game and were left searching for more than just goals.

    “”I thought we played a little better (last night) than we did on Friday, but I thought for a lot of the game we got outworked,”” said UA head coach Dan Tobias. “”That could be fatigue, but this is a sport where you have to work through fatigue, and we have fit enough players, but we just didn’t take care of the ball very well tonight.””

    Part of the problem in both games was the Wildcats’ lack of possession, which was caused by Long Beach State and UCSB’s high-pressure style of defense – a style unfamiliar to Arizona.

    “”We haven’t really had to deal with (high-pressure teams) so I think that’s what definitely stopped us from doing what we wanted to do,”” said UA senior forward London King.

    Arizona’s lack of possession and the California teams’ high-pressure schemes not only flustered the Arizona offense, but caused problems for its defense as it often found itself in less than ideal situations following turnovers.

    “”We gave the ball away uncharacteristically under pressure where in earlier games this season we were keeping the ball in those situations,””

    Tobias said.

    The lone goal of last night’s game came on a Guachos counterattack in the 96th minute of the game. UCSB forward Kylie McDonald lashed in a cross to fellow striker Genelle Ives, who powered the ball into the back of the net with her head and gave UCSB a walk-off win.

    “”It happens,”” said UA goalie Chelsea McIntyre said of the goal. “”A girl ran free, she had a good run. We weren’t marked up. That’s what happens.””

    Friday’s game against the 49ers was even worse than the 2-0 final score indicated. The Wildcats were pressured early and often and couldn’t generate any quality scoring chances. Despite playing with the comfort level that comes with home games, Long Beach wouldn’t let Arizona get comfortable for any stretch of the game.

    “”I’m supposed to get everyone prepared, but we didn’t look prepared (Friday),”” Tobias said. “”We’re a good team in possession of the ball, but teams aren’t just going to concede space and the ball.

    “”It wasn’t our best 90 minutes and Long Beach played very well,”” Tobias added. “”That’s a bad combination.””

    The Wildcats were hoping to use some of their momentum from the first eight games of the year to springboard them past the last three nonconference games, but they will enter their last game before Pacific 10 Conference play opens up in a search for the consistency which eluded them over the weekend.

    “”I hope that (the two games) were a rut. Everybody goes through peaks and valleys,”” McIntyre said. “”I hope this was our valley. I hope that everybody realizes that when (the) Pac-10 (season) comes around that it’s not going to get any easier.””

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