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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Club soccer tops ASU

    The Arizona men’s club soccer team played a familiar face in an unfamiliar place, but the Wildcats still managed to dispose of rival ASU in their first game at Murphey Field in 10 years.

    Midfielder Sean Blea, who is in his first year on the team, scored a goal in the first half that ended up being the game-winning goal to lead Arizona to 1-0 victory over ASU Friday night at Murphey Field – a venue left vacant because the women’s soccer team was in the Bay Area over the weekend.

    The Wildcats came out with great intensity to start the game, but they struggled to maintain possession in the first half, which ASU seemed to control for the first 34 minutes.

    Then in the 35th minute, Blea outran a Sun Devil defender to give Arizona the lead on a goal that turned out to be the lone score of the night.

    “”I just outran him and picked a spot,”” Blea said. “”I actually didn’t even see the ball go in. I knew I scored when I heard the crowd.””

    After the goal, the Wildcats seemed to take the momentum, but in the second half they played more conservatively and ASU saw more of the ball through sustained possessions and had numerous chances to score.

    Midway through the second half, an ASU player chipped the ball over the head of UA goalie Giuseppe DeMasi on a shot that would have seemingly knotted the game at 1. But just as the ball was about to cross the goal line, defender Michael Nelson cleared the ball from the goalmouth, killing the Sun Devils’ scoring chance.

    “”My heart was racing when it happened,”” Nelson said. “”I’m just glad it didn’t go in.””

    The game came down to its final moments during a five-minute stoppage time in which ASU nearly scored on a free kick, but Arizona again turned away the Sun Devils’ effort.

    With the win the Wildcats improve to 9-1-3 as they get ready for their regional tournament, which begins Saturday.

    “”Both teams put on a very good show,”” said Arizona head coach David Hunter. “”I think we showed (Friday) we could bring in a crowd to play here on the more consistent bases.””

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