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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Soccer must overcome star goalie’s injury

    Sophomore goalie Chelsea McIntyre saves a shot in practice Tuesday at Murphey Field. With starting goalie McCall Smith out for the year with a knee injury, McIntyre will begin the season as a starter.
    Sophomore goalie Chelsea McIntyre saves a shot in practice Tuesday at Murphey Field. With starting goalie McCall Smith out for the year with a knee injury, McIntyre will begin the season as a starter.

    Already facing the loss of arguably the best soccer player in Arizona history, last season’s Pacific 10 Conference Player of the Year Mallory Miller, the No. 17 Arizona women’s soccer team was dealt another devastating blow.

    Star junior goalkeeper McCall Smith will sit out the entire season with a severe knee injury that caused her to have surgery over the summer.

    “”Her surgeon told her that she had so many surgeries that there is practically nothing left in her knee, so she is going to redshirt the season, but she will be back to play next year,”” said Christina Hughes, a redshirt freshman midfielder.

    Sophomore Devon Wharf, who was originally expected to start in her place, will also sit out for a part of the season due to a cracked bone in her foot, said UA head coach Dan Tobias.

    The loss of Smith, who recorded nine shutouts last year and only allowed 25 goals on the season, will be hard on the squad, but Tobias said he hopes sophomore Chelsea McIntyre can step in for a team riddled with injuries.

    “”Chelsea has done a great job in preseason,”” Tobias said. “”She’s played some good games last year when McCall was injured. Her first start was on the road at UCLA on Fox Sports on TV, and she did a fantastic job.””

    As the team prepares to enter its fourth season under Tobias, a fresh crop of 11 players is hoping to keep the championship dream alive.

    Last year the Wildcat women made it all the way to the third round of the NCAA playoffs before losing 4-0 to powerhouse Portland, and this year Arizona has high expectations because of the new faces on the team.

    Although the team returns 13 players, not a single senior makes up this young squad.

    “”I think it’s mostly an advantage with a young team,”” Tobias said. “”You’ve got an opportunity to groom them, not only for this year but for the next four years. I’m looking forward to that.””

    Among the new class slated to provide offensive help for the team are freshmen forwards Analisa Marquez, Jasmine Namdar, and Laura Huylebroeck.

    Huylebroeck, who scored a hat trick in her debut at Saturday’s Red-Blue Scrimmage, should bring a lot to the team, Tobias said.

    Although Huylebroeck said she hopes she can put forth that kind of performance for the rest of the season, she still has a thing or two to work on.

    “”I need to work on defense,”” Huylebroeck said. “”(College soccer) is so much faster and more challenging. It’s a little bit of a shock, but I am getting used to it.””

    Marquez, who scored two goals in Tuesday afternoon’s practice, also looks ready to compete, Tobias said.

    “”Analisa shows she’s going to be a useful player wherever we put her, “” he said. “”She’s a powerful, strong athlete. She showed up really prepared.””

    Even with a top-tier recruiting class, Tobias said he knows the team has to work on meshing the new players with the more experienced ones and to not take their previous seasons’ successes for granted.

    “”We have some things to build on,”” Tobias said. “” I think mostly our challenge is to not rest on what’s been done.””

    Tobias said he especially sees these young players stepping up after the loss of his star forward, Miller, who graduated last May.

    Miller smashed nearly every school soccer record, ranking in the Top 10 among the Pac-10 in shots, shots per game, assists, assists per game and game-winning goals.

    But Miller’s skills and experience really rubbed off on sophomore forwards Gianna DeSaverio and London King, two players he expects in turn to take charge on the field.

    “”I think those are two players we see as becoming bigger scorers,”” Tobias said.

    DeSaverio, who had three goals and two assists on the season last year, said Miller is going to be tough to replace.

    “”She did score a lot of our goals last year, so some of the returning players and freshmen need to step it up and get goals,”” DeSaverio said.

    King, who accounted for three goals and three assists last year, said she feels the team will do just fine without Miller.

    “”We need to step up a little,”” King said. “”She did score a lot of our goals, but I think we are ready to fill her shoes.””

    Tobias also expects sophomore forward Sally Thurner to bring much-needed aid to the squad.

    Turner, who redshirted last season with an ACL tear, should be ready to play this year.

    “”I think she’s such a worker,”” Tobias said. “”It was sad for her to sit out last year.””

    Overall, Tobias said he expects the team to do well during the season, but everything must be taken one day at a time.

    “”We look at the season in pieces,”” Tobias said. “”How far we go, that’s something we deal with once we hit tournament time.””

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