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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Men’s soccer roughs up Aggies in victory

    The Arizona men’s club soccer team started slow but rolled over New Mexico State 4-0 Saturday afternoon at the Rincon Vista Complex.

    Arizona had quality possession throughout the game, but struggled to make a quality final pass. The Wildcats managed to capitalize on key mistakes made by an undermanned Aggie squad on their way to improving to 5-0-2.

    “”We were coming off a bye week, so we tried to push hard in practice,”” said UA head coach David Hunter. “”(The players’) brains were a bit sleepy, so we definitely need to pick up the intensity for next week.””

    The two Arizona first-half goals came from set pieces to the right side of the field. In the 18th minute, NMSU failed to clear a cross from an Arizona free kick, and Sean Dunleavy slammed a goal in the back of the net after the ball trickled to him on the back post. Travis Tufts netted his goal after receiving a throw in from the right side, turning and connecting from close range.

    Arizona substituted early and often with its 34 players, and the endless stream of fresh legs frustrated NMSU – which only had one sub – resulting in a physical game.

    Four yellow cards were handed out, three of them for reckless sliding tackles. The other went to Arizona for dissent toward the referee.

    Constant Wildcat pressure on offense overwhelmed the Aggies and forced a tired-looking defense into mistake after mistake. Only two minutes after halftime, Kieren Clancy was able to break free, chipping the ball over the NMSU goalie.

    Arizona’s defense kept the Aggies’ scoring chances to a minimum. The best NMSU opportunity came late in the first half because of a miscommunication in the Arizona defense, but the Aggies hit the crossbar and never threatened again.

    The Wildcats maintained possession for the majority of the game, but UA technical director Steve Fuhrig said there is always room for improvement.

    “”We tried to do too much with (difficult) passes when an easier ball would have been more effective,”” Fuhrig said. “”I think the quality of balls in the midfield was lacking. There were too many loose balls out there.””

    The final Arizona goal was a microcosm of the game. After a breakdown in the Aggie defense, Arturo Mendoza raced onto a ball and headbutted it over an onrushing Aggie goalkeeper.

    Next Saturday, Arizona takes on Texas-El Paso at the Rincon Vista Complex in its home finale before heading to Phoenix for the last two games of the regular season against ASU and New Mexico Tech.

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