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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats take down Aztecs 1-0, tie best start in school history

Rebecca Noble

Arizona’s Gabi Stoian (9) dodges Oregon’s Allie Rodriguez (26) during a game on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014.

The impressive start continued for the Arizona women’s soccer team Friday. The Wildcats defeated San Diego State 1-0 in the first of two games that they’ll play in the Sun Devil Desert Classic in Tempe. 

Arizona is now 4-0 to start the season, which puts them in a tie for the best start in school history.

The Wildcats took an early lead in the ninth minute when Hannah Wong dished a through ball on the left wing to Gabi Stoian, who was able to finish. 

It was Stoian’s fourth goal of the season and the 17th of her career. The sophomore is now sixth on the school’s all-time scoring list and tied for fifth in career points.

The Wildcats had a few other chances in the first half. In the 16th minute, a free kick by Kennedy Kieneker was lofted to Hayley Estopare who was able to get a head on it, but her attempt went wide.

On the other side of the ball, Arizona did a good job of limiting SDSU’s opportunities in the first half, as the Aztecs had just four shots. However, SDSU put more pressure on Arizona’s defense in the second half.

In the 55th minute, the Aztecs threatened with opportunities near the net, but Arizona’s defense was able to prevent any damage.

In the 57th minute, an SDSU free kick was shot on goal but deflected by Lainey Burdett. The rebound went straight up in the air and was collected by SDSU, who then fired a shot that sailed high.

Some nifty passing by SDSU led to an open look in the 60th minute, but Burdett was there to make another save.

The Aztecs had a few other chances late in the game, but Burdett was ultimately able to preserve the shutout.

Both teams finished the night with 10 shots. For an Arizona team that was averaging 17 shots per game coming into this one, this marked their worst offensive output of the season. Of course, that’s not too surprising considering SDSU is the highest-ranked team Arizona has played so far this season.

Still, the team’s consistently strong defense and goalkeeping made up for the offense’s struggles. This was the third time this year that the Wildcats have shutout their opponent.

Sheaffer Skadsen, Alexa Montgomery and Haley Silverberg have provided the unit with stability all season long. Skadsen, in fact, has now played 90 minutes in three of four games this year.

“Our girls are working extremely hard,” head coach Tony Amato said. “We are preaching that you have to put the work in to get results and that winning is hard. That team we played tonight is very good. We defended well to get the shutout and [Stoian] is a very good player and was able to win us the game.”

The Wildcats will look for a weekend sweep on Sunday, when they’ll face Stephen F. Austin, Amato’s former team, at 11 a.m. 

A win would move the Wildcats to 5-0, which would continue the best start in program history.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter.

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