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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Soccer opens up Pac-10 schedule against Washington, Washington State”

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona Wildcat soccer team hosted the University of San Francisco in a college soccer game Sunday, Oct. 3., 2010, at Murphy Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona rode two second-half goals to hold off the Dons in a 2-1 victory.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Wildcat soccer team hosted the University of San Francisco in a college soccer game Sunday, Oct. 3., 2010, at Murphy Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona rode two second-half goals to hold off the Dons in a 2-1 victory.

The Arizona Wildcats soccer team will turn the page and start a new chapter of the 2010 season this weekend.

Head coach Lisa Oyen knows that after kickoff on Friday night in Seattle, when Arizona (4-5-2) squares off with Washington, and on Sunday at Washington State (5-6), it will mark the beginning of part two of Arizona’s schedule.

“”Talking to other coaches around the country, I think everyone sees the start of conference play as kind of the start of a second season. It’s a way to get in the tournament. It’s about the pride of playing for your conference, and right now the (Pacific 10 Conference) is so good that it’s exciting for us to get in that mix,”” Oyen said.

“”By the time you get to the Pac-10 schedule, your team has developed a little more, and you’re hopefully playing your best against the best.””

Now in the middle of a modest two game winning streak, the Wildcats used their non-conference slate to tweak and fiddle with their roster in order to find the most dangerous eleven players before entering this weekend.

But the Huskies (7-3-1) will be a dangerous threat to Arizona’s run, and Oyen talked about how her team would not have the luxuries of making mistakes like they did in non-conference games.

“”The style of soccer we’re going to see is going to be a little more sophisticated. You just have to know that the quality of play is really, really high, and the margin for error is very, very low,”” Oyen said.

The Pac-10 is undeniably the nation’s super conference from top to bottom, with five teams from the conference currently ranked in the top 25.

Each game poses an opportunity for any team to upset the other, and one of the challenges for the Wildcats will be sustaining a maximum effort every minute of every match.

“”You have to be conscious of every decision you make, because an example is last year we played (Washington State) and let up one shot on goal. It was a PK, and we lost 1-0,”” Oyen said. “”Those are the kind of games you see in conference where it takes one mistake, and it’s such a tight game both ways that all it takes is one team capitalizing on a mistake, and that’s the result of the game.””

With a slew of freshmen like Jazmin Ponce, Ana Montoya and Jensen Skinner, who have all played significant roles on the field, the heightened pressure might be expected to bring out some first-year jitters, especially in their first conference games on the road.

But Arizona’s freshmen haven’t played timid all year, earning the praise of Arizona’s coaches and veteran players for the maturity and poise they displayed in the non-conference games.

Oyen didn’t expect butterflies or nervous mistakes from her young team this weekend but thought that the Wildcats have been waiting for the stakes to be raised and expected her team to perform when the lights shine the brightest.

“”We’ve played against some teams that are ranked nationally this year, and I think the players feel like they’ve competed against every team we’ve played minus one game,”” Oyen said. “”I honestly think when they’re faced against the best players is when they’re going to play their best. I’m excited to see them take their game to the next level.””

 

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