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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA Soccer kicks off season with win

    The Arizona soccer team hoped to find answers to some of its biggest questions in last night’s season opener against Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo at Murphy Stadium, and head coach Dan Tobias seems to have found them after Arizona’s 1-0 victory over the Mustangs.

    “”The big thing, always, is to get the first goal,”” Tobias said. “”(Poly had) nothing too threatening, not that we had a bunch of threatening chances either. But the one good chance we had, we stuck it and that makes a big difference.””

    The team’s Achilles heel last year was at the goalie position, but redshirt junior Chelsea McIntyre might prove to be the answer for the Wildcats (1-0) this season. Coming off of a medical redshirt to rehab a reconstructed ACL and two meniscus tears, McIntyre made a dazzling save as she leapt to her right and stopped Poly (0-2) forward Emily Hein’s shot from inside the penalty area with just over six minutes left before halftime. McIntyre snuffed out Poly’s second best scoring chance with just less than eight minutes left in the game as she snared Poly defender Carrie Andrew’s shot from 25 yards out to notch one of her five saves on the night.

    “”I know the confidence is there, but it’s been a year and a half since I stepped on the field in a collegiate game,”” McIntyre said. “”It feels good to get the big save and keep a shutout. It’s awesome.””

    Another area of concern for last year’s squad was goal scoring. Arizona averaged 1.07 goals per game last season and was shut out in eight of its 20 contests. Last night, before an announced attendance of 737, Arizona may not have scorched the nets, but it showed it’s capable of doing so.

    Midfielder Karina Camacho delicately flicked a ball into the box for senior forward Sally Thurner to run onto in the 33rd minute, but the ball barely squirted out of Thurner’s reach. Camacho also showed off her scoring touch as she floated a loose ball into the top left corner of the goal for the game’s only score with 11:55 left in the first half.

    “”We could have put a couple more in, but our play was alright,”” Camacho said. “”We got some chances we should have finished, but overall it was a decent performance. … We’re moving the ball around a little better than last year, so things are looking a lot better this year.””

    Midfielder Jacqueline Broussard also showcased some of Arizona’s offensive potential as she made her presence known early and often. Broussard delivered a nice cross into the path of forward London King in the game’s sixth minute, but King couldn’t control the ball anProxy-Connection: keep-alive
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    the chance was lost. Broussard also had a clear look at goal in the 19th minute, but she dawdled with the ball at her feet and the window quickly closed. She also tallied an assist on Comacho’s goal, as did Thurner.

    Despite the offense’s relative success, not everything went according to plan. Arizona wanted to avoid injuries, something which plagued them a year ago, but there were a pair of injury scares for the Wildcats to deal with last night.

    Broussard was on the receiving end of a nasty collision, which apparently knocked the wind out of her just before Arizona’s lone goal, but she healed quickly as she reappeared in the second half. Freshman Brittany Cole limped of the field with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game after tweaking her left knee, saying, “”it just gave out.”” Tobias said his medical staff had no official word on the injuries as of yet.

    King, the team’s leading returning goal scorer also appeared to be rusty in the first year of her senior campaign. Tobias, however, isn’t worried about his leader’s slow start.

    “”It takes longer, more reps, more time, to get into a good rhythm attacking-wise,”” Tobias said.

    A stingy defense was the stalwart of the Wildcat squad last year, and that continued at the start of this year. Arizona allowed 10 shots, though most were from far distances and only two shots really elevated Wildcat pulses. McIntyre smothered both chances.

    “”I worked hard and I got back,”” McIntyre said. “”I’ll work for these girls day in and day out. Until my death if I have to.””

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