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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Soccer ends Pac-12 losing streak

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Keenan Turner

Keenan Turner/The Daily Wildcat

Arizona soccer split its two games in the Northwest over the weekend, collecting its first Pac-12 Conference victory of the season along the way.

The Wildcats (6-5-3, 1-4 Pac-12) defeated Oregon State on Friday before falling to Oregon Sunday afternoon. Sunday’s game matched the Wildcats up with one of the worst statistical offenses in the Pac-12 in Oregon, but the Ducks were the only team to score, winning by a final of 1-0.

Oregon freshman forward ShayLee Miner’s goal at the one-hour mark was all the team needed. Despite several opportunities to score the equalizer, the Wildcats could not find the back of the net, dinging the crossbar several times instead.

The Ducks outshot the Wildcats 19-14 with goalkeeper and Pac-12 leading shot stopper, Abby Steele, finishing with a clean sheet.

On Friday in Corvallis, Ore., the Wildcats shook off a slow start to knock off the Oregon State Beavers by the final score of 2-0. Both teams failed to produce a score in the first half with Arizona outshooting the Beavers 7-3, though very few attempts actually threatened the goal from either side.

The second half was a different story for the Wildcats, who leaned on their leading goal scorers Jazmin Ponce and Ali Doller to secure their first Pac-12 win in 2013. Ponce got Arizona on the board first in the 48th minute when she took advantage of a poor clearance from Oregon State by dribbling through several Beavers and calmly putting the ball past goalkeeper Sammy Prudhomme.

It was already Ponce’s eighth goal of the season; she scored eight all of last year when she was a first-team all-Pac-12 performer. Doller sealed the deal for the Wildcats with her fifth goal of the season in the 84th minute when she blocked an attempted clearance by Prudhomme and tapped in an empty net goal from just outside the penalty box.

Arizona’s defense claimed its fourth shutout of the season and its first since an early season matchup with Ohio State University back in September. Goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman ended the day with three saves.

In a press release, head coach Tony Amato said he was pleased to finally break through in Pac-12 play.

“I am very happy for our players,” Amato said. “They have worked hard to improve, learned over the past few weeks and have remained confident in their ability. As a result, they performed at a high level today and got a well-deserved win.”

The Wildcats end their five-game Pac-12 road trip this weekend when they head to Los Angeles to take on the struggling USC Trojans Friday.

—Follow Brian Peel @BrianPeel91

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