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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Soccer goes on first road trip of 2006

    Soccer coach Dan Tobias shows off his dribbling skills as sophomore forward Gianna DeSaverio, right, and junior defender Claire Bodiya look on. Tobias will need some of that magic to help overcome the loss of star goalkeeper McCall Smith, who is out for the season with an injury.
    Soccer coach Dan Tobias shows off his dribbling skills as sophomore forward Gianna DeSaverio, right, and junior defender Claire Bodiya look on. Tobias will need some of that magic to help overcome the loss of star goalkeeper McCall Smith, who is out for the season with an injury.

    The bar is set high for the No. 17 Arizona soccer team, as the Wildcats embark to Michigan this weekend on their first road trip of the season.

    However, they will take on their competition without star goalie McCall Smith, who suffered a knee injury and will redshirt this season.

    As sophomore Chelsea McIntyre steps in the goalie box, the Wildcats are still optimistic about the season.

    “”We won’t let it hold us back,”” said assistant coach Harold Warren.

    The squad will face some tough out-of-conference competition at Oakland this morning at 11 and Michigan, ranked No. 7 in the Great Lakes Region, at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

    Poll numbers will not influence how the Wildcats prepare for their season since they’re just numbers, Warren said, but still he expects both opponents to come out strong this weekend.

    “”Michigan is always dominant,”” Warren said. “”They are going to test us, (and) Oakland is going to come out hard too. It’s going to be just like playing tournament games.””

    Co-captain Kaity Heath, a junior defender, said the Wildcats will struggle most with the physical part of the game because Arizona is on the smaller side.

    But size might not be a factor if the Wildcats are as prepared as they think they are.

    “”These games are going to help show who is prepared,”” Heath said.

    The high standards of last season – when Arizona made it to the Sweet 16 – are on everyone’s minds, and expectations have risen. The freshmen are looking to prove themselves and get some validation for all of their hard work thus far.

    “”We just are so fit right now, we have been working so hard, we just want to play,”” said freshman forward Jasmine Namdar.

    The team is split nearly down the middle with returnees and newcomers, giving the Wildcats balance.

    “”I think it’s a strong squad (and) the best group we have had,”” Warren said.

    Heath said she thinks that the team has the right mentality right now, and the players are ready to compete and win.

    “”We just need to stay positive,”” Namdar said.

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