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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona soccer splits weekend at Sun Devil Desert Classic

Fueled by a loss to No. 10 Pepperdine (5-1-0) last Friday, the Arizona women’s soccer team (3-3-0) defeated Houston (3-4-0) on Sunday by a score of 2-1 in a second-half comeback performance at the Sun Devil Desert Classic in Tempe.

On Friday, the Wildcats looked to upset Pepperdine, but after a strong first quarter from the Waves, it was only about getting on the scoreboard.

“We needed to come out a little harder,” senior defender Alex Smith said. “Our big thing for the team is to win the big five moments, which are the first five minutes of every game, and we didn’t come out with that fire. We dropped off and were constantly chasing the game. Luckily in the last minute we did score, but there just wasn’t enough time to get it all back.”

Arizona only took five shots the first half against Pepperdine, which is the second lowest number of shot attempts in a half for the season.

The second half looked just as bleak for Arizona, but sophomore midfielder Julia Glanz saved the Wildcats from being shut out a second time. Glanz scored her first goal of the season just under the 90th minute of the game off a pass from junior midfielder Ana-Maria Montoya.

“We watched video to correct our mistakes from Friday,” Smith said. “That way each line could understand what was done well and what needed to be worked on so we could have a good performance for Sunday.”

Even though the Wildcats outshot Houston 11 to 4 with seven shots on goal, the Cougars came out with a 1-0 lead at the end of the first half.

This marked the second highest number of shot attempts by Arizona in a half. The highest number came in its victory against NAU with 12 attempts in each half.

In the second half, freshman forward Hannah Wong took five shot attempts in the opening nine minutes, none of which got past Houston’s goaltender Cami Koski.

But Wong’s persistence paid off when her sixth shot attempt for the game was rebounded by sophomore midfielder/forward Brie DeFelice, finally making it past Koski to tie the game 1-1. It was also DeFelice’s first goal of the season.

The goal sparked the entire team to take action.

“It really lifted us up,” Smith said. “It encouraged us to come out attacking. It made everyone else want to do the same thing.”

In frustration, Houston fouled Arizona about 10 minutes later, giving the Wildcats the opportunity at a penalty kick.

Smith went about her usual routine when taking a penalty kick and launched it right past Koski’s reach. Not only did Smith score her first goal of the season, but she put Arizona ahead 2-1, capturing another road win for the Wildcats with 24 minutes left in the game.

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