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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Difficult season ends in back-to-back home losses

Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA soccer team played UCLA.
Tim Glass
Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA soccer team played UCLA.

Arizona soccer’s attempt to end its season on a high note fell short this weekend when the Wildcats lost 1-0 against UCLA on Friday night, and 5-0 to No. 17 Southern California on Sunday.

It looked like the Wildcats might take the match from the Bruins on Friday, playing to a scoreless tie into the last 10 minutes of regulation. In the 84th minute, UCLA (12-7-1, 5-4 Pacific 10 Conference) dashed Arizona’s shot at its second conference win when junior Sydney Leroux sent the game winner into the back of the net.

“”We played a quality game, but had one lapse late in the game that cost us,”” head coach Lisa Oyen said. “”We had quite a few chances in the first half, we just were unable to connect.””

The Wildcats (5-13-2, 1-8) said goodbye to their three seniors before playing the Trojans on Sunday. Macke Mutz, Becky Barry and Alex Davis joined their families on the field before playing in front of the Arizona faithful one last time.

“”There are so many memories,”” Mutz said. “”We’ve been through a lot in the five years, and you just see how much you grow and realize how many friends you made.””

Unfortunately, Arizona couldn’t bid their seniors adieu with a win after falling behind quickly to the Trojans (12-5-3, 5-3-1).

The Wildcats had their backs against the wall early after USC scored two goals within the first five minutes of the match. Arizona trailed 5-0 at the end of the first half in what was ultimately too big a deficit to overcome.

“”We let down defensively, and we were just very complacent early on. We had a very tough time doing what we’ve done well all season, and it wasn’t until halftime where we had a chance to regroup,”” Oyen said. “”To go down by that sort of goal deficit and come back would have been very difficult.””

With the 2010 season over, Arizona can close the book on its first year in the process of rebuilding the program.

Inconsistency was the word that followed the Wildcats during the season, and look no further than this weekend’s losses to see the fluctuation in their play on the field.

For Oyen, she knows that a team of 12 inexperienced freshmen will return in 2011 having taken the bumps and bruises of collegiate soccer, and will be stronger because of it.

“”It’s always difficult to see the bigger picture after a loss like this in the last game,”” Oyen said. “”I think having an entire season under the belt now, we know where we need to go, and the players understand the level of training we need day in and day out.””

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