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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona soccer battles to 1-1 tie against GCU

University+of+Arizona+soccer+player+Hope+Hisey+blocks+a+shot+on+goal+during+a+home+game+at+Murphey+Field+at+Mulcahy+Soccer+Stadium+on+Sept.+9%2C+2021.
Nathanial Stenchever

University of Arizona soccer player Hope Hisey blocks a shot on goal during a home game at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium on Sept. 9, 2021.

Mulcahy Soccer Stadium welcomed a packed crowd of 1,200 fans screaming Arizona chants. The Arizona soccer team played to a 1-1 draw against GCU on Thursday, Aug. 24, at home, marking the Wildcats’ first tie of the season. This draw came while the Wildcats debuted their brand-new dark blue uniforms

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The excitement built from the crowded stands created an intense atmosphere throughout the match. The sidelines were filled with student-athletes and even head football coach Jedd Fisch was in attendance.  

Early in the game, Megan Chelf seized a promising scoring opportunity within the first ninety seconds. Chelf’s strike came from a through ball launched into the air, forcing GCU’s goalkeeper, DeAira Jackson, to make a timely save.

Arizona extended their offensive momentum shortly thereafter. Cameron Valladares ripped a shot that met with a deflection and subsequently found the net via Nicole Dallin’s right foot, securing a goal for the Wildcats in the eighth minute. Arizona continued to use their outside-backs to overwhelm GCU’s defense by sending them into the attacking third. 

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In the 15th minute, Chelf executed a header that, unfortunately, was ruled offside. Jackson had to make multiple saves throughout the first half keeping the score 1-0 Wildcats

The second half started with GCU controlling possession. This momentum shifted in the 48th minute when an Arizona player launched a deep shot.

The speed of GCU’s Gianna Gourley, posed challenges for Arizona’s defensive line. Gourley adeptly positioned herself to exploit openings behind the Wildcat’s defense, enabling her to create scoring opportunities. Arizona’s freshman defenders, Marissa Arnst and Trinity Dorsey, showcased their defensive prowess during the 80th minute, shutting down a breakaway attempt.

GCU gained possession near goalkeeper Hope Hisey’s net which caused Arizona’s defense to react swiftly, resulting in a jersey tug and a penalty kick. With merely 30 seconds remaining in the game, GCU’s Leah Pirro took the penalty kick. Hisey was quick to react, deflecting the shot and preventing GCU from scoring another goal. The final score of the game was 1-1. 

Hisey reflected on the pivotal moment.

“[It’s about] being confident and trying to not think too much about it; I think you can overthink penalties,” Hisey said.

In comparison to their previous two outings, Arizona came out ready to go. 

Moros commented on her team’s fast start in the post-game press conference.

“We just started with some of the tactical understanding of what didn’t go well in the past and how to adjust to it,” Moros said.

 The Wildcats will face NAU next on Sunday, Aug 27. at 1 p.m in Flagstaff, Arizona. 


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