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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA hosts ranked Women of Troy

Kyle Hansen
Kyle Hansen / The Daily Wildcat during Arizona’s 3-1 win against Lipscomb on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.

After rolling through its nonconference schedule, Arizona soccer will begin its Pac-12 Conference season this Friday when the Wildcats face No. 21 USC at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium at 2 p.m.

Last weekend, the Wildcats (6-1-1) concluded one of their best nonconference starts in program history when they defeated Lipscomb and Idaho. Arizona has now won four matches in a row and is undefeated in its last six games.

Going into conference play on Friday, the Wildcats are near the middle of the Pac-12 in most offensive and defensive categories as a team, but individually, freshman midfielder Gabi Stoian is tied for first in total points with 18 and is also tied for second in goals scored with seven. Senior forward Alexandra Doller is third in the conference in shots with 33.

Senior goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman said she feels the team is ready for Pac-12 play to start.

“In nonconference play, we’ve played a lot of competitive teams, like Texas A&M, which is good, because those are the kind of teams we are expecting to see in the Pac-12,” Kaufman said. “This is a really exciting time for our program, because we’re now able to compete with those teams and really give them a run for their money.”

Friday afternoon’s tilt with No. 21 USC will match Arizona’s tough defense with not only one of the best offenses in the Pac-12 but the country as well. USC has scored 29 goals as a team this year for a 3.22 per game average, first in the conference and 11th in the country.

The Women of Troy come into Friday’s matchup with the Wildcats with a record of 6-1-2 but dropped their last game against then-No. 12 Pepperdine 2-1 on Sunday.

USC has had several players make big contributions offensively this season, including senior midfielder Alex Quincey and junior midfielder Jamie Fink, who have combined for 11 goals this season. Sophomore forward Kayla Mills, who has two goals and two assists on the year, also happens to play for the U.S. Under-20 National Team. Last season, sophomore defender Mandy Freeman was named an All-Pac-12 First Team member as a freshman.

Arizona head coach Tony Amato said he’s confident in his team but knows USC will be a tough game.

“They’re a good team,” Amato said. “They’re ranked in the top 25 in the country, so we know they’ve had a good run of games and they have a lot of talented players. We feel like we go into every game with the idea that we can win it, and we know we can win this one. It’s going to take a lot of energy and hard work and passion, but we think we can get it done.”

Follow Brian Peel on Twitter @_brianpeel

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