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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Soccer splits 1st weekend

    Arizona midfielder Jacqueline Broussard dives in an effort to get the ball during the Wildcats 2-1 loss to Utah on Friday night at Murphey Stadium. The sophomore, who head coach Dan Tobias called one of the teams three best attacking players, did not score over the weekend.
    Arizona midfielder Jacqueline Broussard dives in an effort to get the ball during the Wildcats’ 2-1 loss to Utah on Friday night at Murphey Stadium. The sophomore, who head coach Dan Tobias called one of the team’s three “”best attacking players,”” did not score over the weekend.

    It was quite a weekend of firsts for the Arizona soccer team – three players scored their first collegiate goals, and freshman goalkeeper Danielle Nicolai originally slotted as a backup before Friday, recorded her first career start.

    While Sunday’s 4-3 overtime victory against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (0-2) was the more eventful match of the weekend in terms of scoring, Friday’s 2-1 loss to Utah may carry long-term implications.

    In the 72nd minute, with Arizona down 2-0, starting goalkeeper Devon Wharf collided with a Utah player while leaping forward for a ball. Wharf came down hard and collapsed onto the field holding her right leg.

    “”I went up for (the ball), and a girl hit me from the side,”” Wharf said. “”I landed wrong.””

    After being examined by trainers, who applied a knee brace, Wharf continued. Three minutes later, however, she ran to get a ball down the far sideline, then suddenly begin limping before falling again to the field. This time Wharf needed to be helped off the field.

    Nicolai, the Wildcats’ only backup, took over in the net. The freshman gave a strong showing in her first minutes of a collegiate game, not allowing any goals.

    “”It was nerve-racking but exciting at the same time,”” Nicolai said of her entrance into the game. “”Being a goalkeeper you live for moments like that.””

    Arizona head coach Dan Tobias said he felt the freshman “”did a great job”” despite the tough situation.

    “”We talk about being ready when your name’s called all the time, and she was,”” he added. “”That’s a tough game to enter into when you’re sitting on the bench the entire time.””

    With Wharf’s leg still bothering her, Nicolai started Sunday’s game against Cal Poly. Nicolai notched six saves and allowed three goals.

    It is uncertain how long Wharf will be sidelined.

    In addition to Nicolai, Jasmin Day and Karina Camacha added to the freshman success on the weekend by recording their first collegiate goals. Camacha scored Arizona’s lone goal Friday night against Utah, while Day scored the Wildcats’ third goal Sunday.

    But it was an upperclassman – senior Claire Bodiya – who notched not only her first career goal but also the game-winner.

    After Cal Poly fought back from a 3-1 deficit to force overtime, the Wildcats got a corner kick after sophomore Samantha Drees’ shot was blocked by Mustangs goalkeeper Alli Tramel and dribbled out of bounds two minutes into the extra period. Drees then took the kick, which landed in the box.

    After a battle for the ball, Bodiya found an opening and pushed the ball in for the victory.

    “”The girl who was marking me ended up leaving me wide open,”” Bodiya said. “”The ball went near post and got deflected and came right to me. Then I just put it in.

    “”It was nice to get my first goal.””

    With the majority of his team’s goals coming from first-time scorers, Tobias said he cannot wait for his regular goal scorers – Drees, Jacqueline Broussard and London King – to get in on the act.

    “”Think about when those guys start scoring goals,”” he said. “”It’s really good that we have a group of people who can put the ball in the net. So, when (Drees, Broussard and King) get going, we’re going to be a handful for people.””

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