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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Soccer hits the road to play Oregon schools

Gordon Bates  / Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA loses 2-1 to ASU at ASU Friday Oct 15
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA loses 2-1 to ASU at ASU Friday Oct 15

There are four games left in the 2010 soccer season, and for the Wildcats, the mantra is simple.

“”These last four games, we’re playing to win,”” said freshman Shannon Heinzler. “”We’re going to go out powered and fighting for the results we want.””

Arizona will begin the home stretch of its season this weekend by playing at Oregon (5-8-3, 1-3-1 Pacific 10 Conference) tonight at 7, and then wrapping up its final road trip of 2010 by taking on No. 15 Oregon State on Sunday at noon.

The Beavers (13-1-1, 5-0 Pac-10) are red hot in the middle of an eight-game win streak, and the Wildcats, who are coming off a hard-fought loss to No. 1 Stanford, will try to carry over some of the themes of last weekend against the Oregon schools.

“”When we forgot about the team we were playing and the name across their chest I thought we did a much better job of setting ourselves up for what we do well,”” said head coach Lisa Oyen.

“”We felt like we’ve played enough quality soccer throughout the season, we’re just trying to put it all together. We’ve played the kind of soccer we’re capable of at times, it’s just been inconsistent.””

Despite losing their last match, the Wildcats (5-9-2, 1-4 Pac-10) have played quality soccer for the majority of the last three games.

But capitalizing on scoring chances remains as the area where Arizona can most improve.

Becoming more dangerous on the attack has been a focal point all season for Oyen, and the emergence of another weapon on offense gives the Wildcats another wrinkle to throw at opponents.

“”I do feel like we have some versatility in the attack, especially with Heinzler having scored a goal,”” Oyen said. “”She shoots a very nice ball.””

Heinzler hit the game-winner against Cal last weekend, and now complements fellow freshmen Ana Montoya and Jazmin Ponce up top. She talked in practice this week about how scoring her first career goal gives her and the team some reassurance.

“”We have a variety of players now who have scored throughout the season, so I feel like we have a lot more depth,”” Oyen said. “”We’re not just reliant on one player, but we do have different ways we can attack.””

In training for this weekend’s matches, there was an emphasis on finishing the season strong and playing each remaining match with motivation and high energy.

The nature of the Pac-10 sets the Wildcats up against elite teams week after week, and for the players, that adds an extra incentive for Arizona to win.

“”It makes you want to get after them more and get that win,”” Heinzler said.

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