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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona soccer hosts Oregon schools this weekend

Zi Yang Lai

Arizona goalkeeper Lainey Burdett delivers a kick to the ball while playing against Pepperdine on Sunday, Sept. 13. Burdett took home Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week honors last week.

If there were ever such a thing as an “easy” weekend in the Pac-12 Conference for Arizona women’s soccer, this would be it.

After getting a much-needed road win against No. 25 Washington State, the Wildcats will return home to face Oregon (4-10, 1-5 Pac-12) and Oregon State (6-5-3, 2-4). The Oregon schools are both near the bottom of the conference standings; the Ducks currently bottom out the Pac-12, as the Beavers are in eighth.

Despite the gutsy road win, the Wildcats are still in the midst of a stretch where they’ve lost three of their past four games. The lackluster play dropped them to sixth in the conference standings.

Since both of these upcoming games are against two of the weaker teams in the Pac-12, they become must-win games for Arizona. The Wildcats need a repeat of last year’s performance when they swept the Oregon schools.

Two wins this weekend could put them back in the race for the Pac-12 title. On the flip side, losing just one of these two games could prove to be a devastating blow.

The first game of the weekend is against the Ducks, who have lost four straight. Oregon has had a tough time scoring goals this season, scoring just nine goals in 14 games—five fewer than any other team in the conference.

The Ducks have to go up against a defense that, aside from a poor three-game stretch against Stanford, UCLA and UCLA, has done a superb job of keeping its opponents off the scoreboard.

Arizona is fresh off its seventh shutout out of the season, which led Arizona keeper Lainey Burdett to be named the Pac-12’s Goalkeeper of the Week.

As such, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Ducks’ offense has trouble getting a shot or two in net.

The Wildcats’ matchup with the Ducks will kickoff Friday at 7 p.m. at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium and will be streamed live on Pac-12 Networks.

The Beavers roll into town for a Sunday matchup with the Wildcats. Oregon State is coming off of a win against UCLA, a team that obliterated Arizona 5-1.

Like the Ducks, the Beavers also struggle on the offensive end. They’re last in the conference in shots taken (150) and only ahead of Oregon in goals scored (14).

A reason Oregon State has had a bit more success than their in-state rival is because of its defense. The Beavers are tied for fourth in the conference in goals allowed (12). The Wildcats have scored 24 goals this season and it should be interesting to see their high-octane offense go up against the Beavers’ stingy defense. Nonetheless, it’s a game the Wildcats need to win.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Murphey Field and will also be streamed on Pac-12 Networks.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter.

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