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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


For Arizona soccer, the golden goal makes the rules

Robert Alcaraz / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA soccer vs USC on Sept. 21, 2012.

The Arizona soccer team has played in four games that ended in overtime this season, and hasn’t won any of them.

Granted, the Wildcats only lost one and tied the other three, as college soccer overtime rules don’t include shootouts in the event of a tie game after two overtime periods.

To put it into perspective, soccer players play 90 minutes of regulation time with a 15 minute break for halftime. According to NCAA soccer rules, two overtime periods, each 10 minutes long, are played in the event of ties at the end of regulation. That means an additional 20 minutes of soccer, bringing the duration of the game to 110 minutes. The additional 20 minutes often amounts to nothing more than a tie.

For the Wildcats, there is a varying degree of opinion from coaches and players about the overtime rule known as the “golden goal” — which states that the first team to score wins, and if no one scores then the game ends in a tie — and the overtime rule, which requires a shootout to determine the winner.

The goalie

“With the shootout, as a goalkeeper that is a lot of pressure to be put on you,” junior goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman said. “But when there is a tie you don’t have any real results. By having that opportunity to do a shootout, it will give us a better chance to show everyone that we are here to win and not just hold out for a tie.”

Kauffman said she knows how she would approach a shootout.

“It is hard because they are 12 yards out and it’s difficult to have a quick reaction time, but you just have to read their body language,” Kaufman said.

The head coach

“I prefer golden goal,” head coach Lisa Oyen said. “However, when you are on the winning end of a penalty kick situation that’s not a bad thing either. I think most players or coaches do not want a game determined by penalty kicks.”

Oyen said she realizes players are put in a physically demanding position.

“Let’s say you go through three games of that, that is another hour of soccer other teams don’t have to play,” she said. “Not to mention, when we play two games on a given weekend and we go into overtime two games in row that’s 40 extra minutes of soccer in a three day span. It does take a physical and mental toll.”

The midfielder

“I like having the overtimes because penalty kicks to me are more luck than anything else,” senior midfielder Susana Melendez said.

“I would rather try and get a winner out of the overtime. It is unfortunate that overtime could end up in a tie, but it has to end somewhere.”

Being a midfielder requires Melendez to cover both ends of the field, so she said she understands how physically demanding double overtime can be.

“You have to forget about being tired and keep going,” Melendez said. “There are 10 other people on the field that depend on you and are just as tired as you, so you have to dig down deep inside you to find the strength.”

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