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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Soccer ends season with emotional loss to ASU

    UA forward London King plays keep-away with an ASU defender during Friday nights 2-1 loss to the Sun Devils at Murphey Stadium. It was Arizonas final game of the season, in which it failed to win again when trailing at some point in the contest.
    UA forward London King plays keep-away with an ASU defender during Friday night’s 2-1 loss to the Sun Devils at Murphey Stadium. It was Arizona’s final game of the season, in which it failed to win again when trailing at some point in the contest.

    The clock ticked under 30 seconds Friday night at Murphey Stadium, with the Arizona soccer team trailing ASU 2-1.

    The Sun Devils’ Courtney Crane broke free at midfield and began dashing toward the Wildcats’ net. UA senior defender Claire Bodiya reacted immediately and began sprinting after from the left side.

    As the season’s largest crowd of 1,010 came to its feet, Bodiya caught the speedy attacker and promptly took her to the ground with a strong sliding tackle, sending the ball trickling off to the left of the goal.

    “”I didn’t want to lose 3-1,”” said an emotional Bodiya after her final game in a Wildcats jersey. “”Tackling is my thing, I love doing it and I wanted to end on a

    good note.””

    After Bodiya’s potential goal-saving tackle, the fans and the Wildcat bench erupted, not because the game had changed – Arizona still fell 2-1 – but out of respect for one of the hardest-playing defenders to don the cardinal and navy.

    “”That’s just the definition of Claire,”” said forward Jacqueline Broussard. “”She’s going to bust her ass for every one of us out there, and just to watch her do that was so awesome because that’s just who she is. She fights for us on and off the field.””

    Unfortunately, Arizona could not muster a season-ending victory for Bodiya or the four other seniors who said goodbye to the program Friday night. Instead, two early goals doomed the Wildcats (6-13-1, 1-7-1 Pacific 10 Conference) in yet another disappointing loss to their in-state rival Sun Devils (10-9-1, 4-4-1).

    Following a pregame ceremony that honored seniors Bodiya, defender Kaity Heath, forward Sarah Litt, injured goalkeeper McCall Smith and starting goalkeeper Halley Brown, Arizona struggled to find a rhythm, while ASU took no time finding one.

    A mere three minutes into the emotional contest, ASU’s Carly Kallas took a free kick from Kylla Sjoman and headed it past Brown into the right side of the net.

    Fifteen minutes later, the Sun Devils struck again. This time, it was Karin Volpe slipping one past Brown from inside the goal box to give ASU a 2-0 lead.

    “”That first goal, off a free kick, just got deflected into the goal and was just bad luck,”” said UA head coach Dan Tobias. “”Even the second goal was just a ball that bounced around and got deflected by somebody, and all of the sudden we’re down 2-0.

    “”The great thing I saw was that we fought back.””

    With the memory of a 4-0 shutout loss to ASU last season on their minds, the Wildcats did indeed fight back. Just minutes before halftime, Heath delivered a corner kick into the box. Broussard took the kick and redirected it into the net, cutting the Sun Devils’ lead in half.

    But, as in so many games this season, Arizona struggled to find the net in the second half and fell for the fifth

    straight game.

    “”Going into the locker room, everyone was super-confident we would get that second goal,”” Tobias said. “”But give credit to ASU, they just make it really difficult

    for you.

    “”We kept fighting, kept battling – we just couldn’t get the equalizer.””

    The loss only added to Arizona’s second-period woes. On the year, the Wildcats finished winless when failing to score first.

    Not helping their cause, Arizona only managed to test ASU goalkeeper Briana Silvestri with five shots.

    While it appeared the tears and emotions of the pregame ceremonies lingered into the start of the game, Litt asserted they were not to blame for the team’s unfortunate start.

    “”I’ve never felt more ready for a game, and I know the team was, too,”” she said. “”It was just tough getting down early.

    “”But everyone did a good job, and we didn’t quit. I know everyone played hard.””

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