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Arizona soccer: Wildcats blanked by No. 10 USC in Pac-12 opener

Arizona+midfielder+Jaden+DeGracie-Bailey+%2814%29+attempts+to+get+the+ball+from+USC+defender+Kayla+Mills+%2818%29+in+Fridays+game+at+USC.+Arizona+lost+0-4.+This+was+the+opening+game+of+conference+play+and+takes+Arizonas+record+to+5-3-1.
Jameson Hsu / Daily Trojan

Arizona midfielder Jaden DeGracie-Bailey (14) attempts to get the ball from USC defender Kayla Mills (18) in Friday’s game at USC. Arizona lost 0-4. This was the opening game of conference play and takes Arizona’s record to 5-3-1.

The Arizona soccer team began Pac-12 Conference play on Friday, but it didn’t start as hoped, as the Wildcats were routed 4-0 by the No. 10 USC Trojans in Los Angeles.

This is Arizona’s second loss in a row, dropping its record to 5-3-1 on the season.

The 10th-ranked Trojans entered the match on a six-game winning streak and a six-game shutout streak, and they continued both against the Wildcats.

Four different Trojans—Katie Johnson, Leah Pruitt, Amanda Rooney and Sydney Johnson—scored a goal a piece, while the defense blanked Arizona, making it 654 minutes of gameplay since USC has allowed a goal.

Arizona nearly broke USC’s shutout streak in the eighth minute, as a free kick by Gabi Stoian clanged off the crossbar, but it was all Trojans from that point forward.

In the 23rd minute, surgical passing by USC’s Kayla Mills and Alex Anthony set up a scoring chance for Katie Johnson inside the 18-yard box. Johnson was able to tap it in past UA goalkeeper Lainey Burdett for the game’s first goal.

It marks the first time this season that Arizona hadn’t scored first.

Later in the first half, USC’s Julia Bingham dished a through ball ahead to Pruitt, whose shot skipped past the diving Burdett to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead.

USC outshot the Wildcats 9-3 in the first half, and seemingly generated scoring chance after scoring chance against the Arizona defense.

“The game played out in the beginning how we thought [it would].” Arizona head coach Tony Amato told Pac-12 Networks at halftime. “We thought we would be able to start well and create some chances and Gabi hit the bar, but [USC] is a good team so they started pulling us all over the place and opening up channels, so that’s a credit to them.”

The Wildcats’ offense picked up in the second half, as they outshot the Trojans 12-11 in the final 45 minutes, yet still couldn’t manage to put a shot in the back of the net.

Arizona did come close a few times, especially in the 69th minute. Paige Crouch crossed the ball to the near-post where Stoian headed it on net, but USC goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme was there to turn Arizona away.

Stoian had six of Arizona’s 20 shots, including three on goal attempts, but all were saved by Prudhomme. And after Prudhomme’s save on Stoian in the 69th minute, USC quickly put the game away. In the 75th minute, Rooney gathered a shot that was deflected by UA defender Laura Pimienta and fired the ball past Burdett to extend USC’s lead to 3-0.

Nine minutes later, Johnson scored to make it 4-0, which would be the final goal of the game.

The Wildcats are winless (0-2-1) in three road games this season, but their next two games are at home on Thursday and Sunday against Colorado and Utah, respectively.

Thursday’s kickoff against the Buffaloes (6-3) is set for 7 p.m. and the game will televised on the Pac-12 Networks.


Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter


All video courtesy of Pac-12 Networks


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