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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Soccer breaks old habits during Oregon trip

    The term “”pressure cooker”” would be a good description of the Arizona soccer team’s weekend in Oregon. The Wildcats endured back-to-back double-overtime games, managing to come away with a win and a tie.

    Arizona (6-8-1, 1-2-1 Pacific 10 Conference) began the weekend with a 1-0 victory over Oregon State (7-6-1, 0-3) Friday and then ended with a 2-2 tie against Oregon (8-6-1, 0-2-1) yesterday.

    Against the Ducks, the Wildcats managed to do something they have rarely been able to do of late: come back from a 1-0 deficit.

    “”We showed a bit more heart and a bit more toughness,”” said UA head coach Dan Tobias. “”We said, ‘We know we’re good and let’s get ourselves back in the game.’ I think that was a great response.””

    The Ducks struck first at the 30-minute mark. The one-goal deficit has proved deadly for the Wildcats this season, as the team is 0-8-1 when it does not score first.

    But Arizona overcame its recent scoring woes and answered the Ducks 20 minutes later off forward London King’s second goal of the weekend.

    “”From the second half on, we played really well,”” Tobias said. “”The team knows its strengths, and when we’re controlling possession like we were, we’re dangerous for anybody.””

    After Oregon came right back with a goal eight minutes later, forward Analisa Marquez came up big for the Wildcats, scoring with only 12 minutes remaining in the second period.

    “”I thought we created a lot of good chances in both overtime (periods),”” Tobias said. “”Oregon just did a great job defensively and really on both sides of the ball.””

    Arizona kept its postseason hopes alive by defeating Oregon State on Friday night. The Wildcats peppered the Beaver net with 11 shots on goal.

    King knocked in the game-winner seven minutes into the second overtime.

    “”The winning play was awesome,”” Tobias said. “”London just did a great job of not giving up on the play and running to that back post.

    “”I think the word I can say about our play (Friday) is ‘persistent.’ I thought we were a lot more persistent and we played to our strengths.””

    While Arizona’s offense continued its struggles around the net, the Wildcat defense returned to form in holding Oregon State scoreless.

    One main reason for the defensive success was Arizona goalkeeper Halley Brown, who started her first two games in goal this weekend. Brown, a senior walk-on, took over for usual starter Danielle Nicolai, who did not travel to Oregon due to a concussion she suffered last Sunday against Washington.

    In her first collegiate start, Brown held up her end of the bargain, making eight saves.

    “”Halley did a great job,”” Tobias said. “”For it being her first career start and going to double overtime, I give her a ton of credit. She did a solid job.””

    The Wildcats face three top-five teams in their next four games, and any momentum picked up this weekend will go a long way over the next two weeks.

    The way Arizona played offensively “”is definitely a good sign,”” Tobias said. “”I’m seeing that confident swagger back in everyone’s eyes. The things that we’re doing are working, we just need to continue to do them and to do them well.””

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