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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Stoian, UA soccer host Arizona Cats Classic over weekend

Rebecca Noble
Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildcat Gabi Stoian (#9) runs warm up drill at Rincon Vista Sports Complex on Tuesday, September 9.

Coming off its most successful weekend of the 2014 season, Arizona soccer (3-1-1) will look to continue its positive momentum when it hosts the Arizona Cats Classic today and Sunday at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Stadium. Joining the Wildcats at this year’s Classic will be Nevada, New Mexico State and ASU.

The Arizona Cats Classic is an annual tournament that has been hosted by the Wildcats since 2010. In last season’s Classic, Arizona split its two games, beating Southern Utah and losing to Texas Tech.

Last weekend, the Wildcats played in the Sun Devil Classic in Tempe where they tied No. 6 Texas A&M 2-2 before beating Oklahoma State 3-1. Arizona was led by freshman midfielder Gabi Stoian who scored three goals and assisted on two others. For her efforts, Stoian was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.

Arizona head coach Tony Amato said he knows that when his team takes on tough competition, like it did last weekend, it will play its best soccer.

“When there are challenges out there, they know to rise to them,” Amato said. “I don’t think we necessarily play down to other’s levels when we play someone that isn’t in the top 25 of the country. But I think when you’re a competitor and you do play a top team, everybody just does a little bit more, which is what we saw last weekend.”

This weekend, the Wildcats face the Nevada Wolf Pack (2-3-1) on Friday night in Arizona’s lone match of the Classic.

After a slow start to the season — which saw the Wolf Pack lose three of its first four games, including a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Texas Longhorns — Nevada bounced back of late, winning its last two contests against Sacramento State and Saint Mary’s.

The Wildcats should be able to find the back of the net against a Nevada squad that has struggled mightily on defense this season, already allowing 13 goals in just six games played.

Offensively, Nevada is led by freshman forward Angel Meriwether, whose three goals lead the team.

The Wildcats have Sunday off, but anyone interested can take in the ASU and Nevada matchup that afternoon to close the tournament.
Next weekend, Arizona continues its six-game home stand when it welcomes Lipscomb and Idaho at Murphey Field.

—Follow Brian Peel @_brianpeel

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