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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    2nd-half play dooms soccer

    Arizona midfielder Jacqueline Broussard tries to get the ball past California defender Megan Jesolva. The Wildcats fell to the
    Arizona midfielder Jacqueline Broussard tries to get the ball past California defender Megan Jesolva. The Wildcats fell to the

    If only soccer games did not include a halftime, Arizona might have escaped this weekend with two wins.

    Instead, the Wildcats (6-10-1, 1-4-1 Pacific 10 Conference) dropped the weekend set against No. 4 Stanford (11-2-1, 2-1-1) and California (10-5-0, 2-3-0) and now find themselves four games under .500 with only three games remaining on the schedule, which, in all likelihood, dashes any hopes of an NCAA Tournament berth.

    “”We needed the wins (this weekend),”” UA head coach Dan Tobias said. “”There’s no question, (the two) losses hurt.””

    Painful could be used to describe both games this weekend, but more specifically the second period of each game. After playing solid first periods, Arizona failed to carry its first half energy into the final 45 minutes.

    Arizona allowed all of its opponents five goals in the second period while only managing to find the net on one occasion themselves.

    In yesterday’s 2-0 loss to California especially, the Wildcats came out for the second half with a noticeable difference in intensity. After out-shooting the Golden Bears 8-2 from eight different players in the first period, Arizona only attempted three more shots the rest of the way while California did the bulk of their offensive work by attempting seven shots, including two goals.

    “”I think we were all really tired,”” forward Jacqueline Zinke said. “”We were just physically tired, it wasn’t really a mental thing.””

    The first blow Arizona received came only 15 minutes into the second period. California midfielder Caitlin Hannegan broke free and hit a strong shot past Arizona’s goalkeeper Halley Brown from just inside the box to break the 0-0 tie.

    Ten minutes later the Golden Bears struck again on a similar play by forward Nikki Schrey, putting California up 2-0.

    Arizona is now 0-10-1 when the opponent scores first, and in only four of those games did the Wildcats mount any sort of a comeback at all.

    Tobias acknowledged how important it is for his team to get the first goal and said it would be “”a big understatement”” to say it would have been a different game.

    “”I felt it was unfortunate that we ran out of time in the first half, because I thought we were close to scoring a goal,”” he said. “”We were pressing all the way up to the last minute of the half, we just did not get that goal.””

    Nearly identical statements could be made for Friday’s 3-1 loss to Stanford as well. After a solid performance throughout the first half, the game quickly slipped away from the Wildcats.

    The first big break of the game went Stanford’s way midway through the second period. What appeared to be a fantastic save by Brown off a free kick by the Cardinals forward Kelley O’Hara’s free kick attempt was called a goal, drawing much criticism from the Wildcat bench.

    Brown, as well as several other Arizona players, attempted to plead their case to the line judge, but their complaints were to no avail.

    “”That was really frustrating, there was no way that was a goal,”” defender Samantha Tiampo said. “”The game shifts after a call like that. It sort of took the wind out of our sails.””

    Following the goal, Arizona appeared disoriented and soon after, Brown misplayed a ball leading to Stanford’s second goal in 10 minutes.

    “”We played really well for the first 30 minutes (of the second period), but the last 15 got loose and careless,”” Tobias said. “”We just haven’t had a bounce go our way.

    “”But if we stay focused and keep creating chances, those bounces will come.””

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