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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Soccer shifts to softer schedule

    UA defender Claire Bodlya, right, heads the ball during Arizonas 1-0 loss to Virginia Tech on Firday at Murphey Stadium. Bodlya and the Wildcats aim to snap a three-game losing streak and scoreless drought when Creighton and San Diego State head to Tucson this weekend.
    UA defender Claire Bodlya, right, heads the ball during Arizona’s 1-0 loss to Virginia Tech on Firday at Murphey Stadium. Bodlya and the Wildcats aim to snap a three-game losing streak and scoreless drought when Creighton and San Diego State head to Tucson this weekend.

    Nothing brings a team down to earth quite like losing. The Arizona soccer team experienced this over the last two weeks, as its strong 4-1-0 start suffered from three straight losses.

    Arizona can right itself righting itself at 7 tonight when it faces Creighton (6-5-1) at Murphey Stadium. The Wildcats also host San Diego State (3-3-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday.

    Coming off a four-game winning streak that included an upset of then- No. 3 Texas, the Wildcats have since fallen to two other top-10 teams in as many weeks.

    “”We lost to some good teams, so we can’t be too upset about that,”” said defender Kaity Heath . “”But it has been a good learning experience knowing that we can’t just hang around and hope to get a tie. We have to finish our chances.””

    Throughout its losing streak, Arizona has fought issues with finishing, especially in the Wildcats’ last two losses against Virginia Tech and current No. 1 Santa Clara.

    Arizona gave itself several good looks at the goal in both games but struggled getting the ball in the back of the net, resulting in a three-game scoring drought, as well.

    “”We have been getting very unlucky in front of the goal lately,”” said forward Karina Camacho . “”We have been working on technique and finishing a lot in training, so, hopefully, we’ll
    start scoring more goals this weekend.””

    Despite Arizona’s scoring problems, the team does not hold a
    bleak view of its effort on offense. In the Wildcats’ last two matches, they took a total of 17 shots with eight on goal, accounting for more attempts than either of their opponents.
    Although these numbers haven’t affected the scoreboard, UA head coach Dan Tobias said he feels they show Arizona’s doing something right offensively.

    “”You’re struggling in the attack when you don’t have the ball and you don’t create good, quality chances in front of the
    goal,”” Tobias said. “”We have not been struggling with that.

    “”We’ve been creating good chances, we just didn’t tuck them away.””

    On the other side of the ball, Arizona has done little wrong – at least over the last two games. In both, the Wildcats held a 0-0 tie late until single mistakes in each game led to back-to-back 1-0 losses.

    The Arizona defense, led by seniors Heath and Claire Bodiya, held both Virginia Tech and Santa Clara to a combined 10
    shots . Goalkeeper Danielle Nicolai turned in yet another strong performance, tallying six saves .

    “”It’s really frustrating,”” Heath said . “”But there’s always so much we can do to be better. The ball has to go through 10 of our
    players before it gets to our keeper.””

    This will be Arizona’s first weekend not facing a national top-10 team since the opening weekend .

    Although this set of opponents represent a welcome change of pace for the Wildcats, Tobias said his team’s success will lie exactly where it did when it play ed the nation’s top teams.

    “”You can’t get caught up in what it says across the chest of your opponent,”” he said. “”We’re at the point in our season where everyone has a good idea of what our identity is composed of. It’s just a matter now of us going out and playing hard and putting the ball in the net.””

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