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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona soccer has bittersweet weekend against California and Pacific

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Forty-seven seconds was all that stood between the Arizona women’s soccer team and two consecutive wins. The Wildcats lost to the Pacific Tigers (3-6) with a score of 2-1 on Sunday after upsetting No. 15 California (6-3) with the same score on Friday.

Junior forward/midfielder Jazmin Ponce led the Wildcats in scoring all three goals for Arizona (5-4-1), bringing her team-leading total to six.

“Both goals on Friday were pretty similar,” senior defender Alex Smith said. “It was a nice buildup so it wasn’t just Jazmin finishing, which she did a really good job of, but it was also a team effort. The same thing happened today [Sunday], we just couldn’t pull out the win.”

Tied at halftime, it looked like the Pac-12 opener against Cal would be a repeat of last Sunday’s match against Loyola Marymount.

However, just before the 51st minute in the second half, everything changed.

Ponce was on the attack and Cal’s goalkeeper Emily Kruger came out to challenge her. It was either a slip of common sense or just a mistake, but Kruger went beyond the goalie box to contest the shot, which resulted in a hard collision between her and Ponce.

Kruger received a red card and was ejected from the game. Not only were the Golden Bears down to 10 players, but their rookie goalkeeper Lauren Hein was forced to play in her first game of the season.

“It was important to press them and get a goal right away to put them on their heels,” Smith said.

Ponce capitalized on the advantage.

A minute later, she launched a kick from 25 yards out, scoring her fourth goal for the season and putting the Wildcats in the lead 1-0.

Cal’s frustration from the red card incident and the Arizona goal was the fuel for their first and only goal for the match.

On Sunday, the Wildcats were expected to win their match against Pacific, but ended up losing in the final 47 seconds of the game.

For the third consecutive game, the score at halftime was tied at 0-0, but Pacific came out strong in the opening five minutes of the second half.

Pacific’s Sasha Moscatello shot the ball from 25 yards out into the right corner, just out of junior goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman’s hands, putting the Tigers ahead 1-0.

Arizona struggled to keep the ball within attacking distance, but in the 83rd minute Ponce chipped the ball into the goal, tying the match 1-1.

In a final hustle effort, Pacific’s Zarette Munoz-Aguilar answered back to win the match for the Tigers by scoring a goal in the top right corner.

“It was just something that we cannot allow to happen when there is two minutes left in the game,” Smith said.

Even though Arizona outshot the Tigers 11-4 in the first half, the Wildcats only had 4 shots to Pacific’s 10 in the second half.

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