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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Soccer looks to avoid repeat of 2013 season

Cecilia+Lisset+Alvarez+%2F+The+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AArizona+Womens+Soccer+team+lost+against+University+of+Southern+California+0-3+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+26%2C+2014
Cecilia Lisset Alvarez
Cecilia Lisset Alvarez / The Daily Wildcat Arizona Women’s Soccer team lost against University of Southern California 0-3 on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014

Arizona soccer head coach Tony Amato and company certainly hopes this isn’t a repeat of last season.

After a strong nonconference showing last season, the Wildcats dropped their first three games of the Pac-12 Conference season, losing to UCLA, Stanford and Cal. They finally won their first game in conference against Oregon State, who is coming into town this weekend.

Amato said he’s confident the team can rebound quickly from its slow start in Pac-12 play.

“I have all the confidence in the world,” Amato said. “They’re a strong group that I have a lot of confidence in. They know they played a really good team and the next game is always winnable, and we think we can go out and win every game. We’ll regroup and be good to go this weekend.”

DeFelice done

In the Wildcats 3-1 victory over Lipscomb a few weeks ago, senior defender Brie DeFelice went down with an apparent knee injury. She’s missed the last two matches, and it was confirmed by Amato that she will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

“Brie is officially out,” Amato said. “She tore her ACL, and she had an MRI and will have to have surgery in October. She has plans to graduate and go on to physical therapy school. She’ll have to spend the rest of the season cheering on the group. She’s on our leadership group, and we know she will be a great teammate the rest of the season.”

Before the injury, DeFelice was having a strong senior campaign, as she was a pivotal part of the Wildcats’ back four on defense.

Stoian still leading the way

Now through more than half of their 19 regular season games, the Wildcats certainly have an idea of who they will lean on for scoring production. Even after being held scoreless against USC last Friday, freshman forward Gabi Stoian is still near the top of almost every offensive statistic in the Pac-12.

Through 10 games, Stoian is tied for second in conference in goals with seven, second in total points with 18 and tied for fourth in assists with four.

Despite being bottled up by the Women of Troy in her first Pac-12 game, Stoian still looked like the most dangerous Wildcat on attack, creating several close scoring opportunities.

Kaufman climbing the record book

Coming into 2014, senior goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman could claim she had a pretty good career as a Wildcat. After this season, she can say she’s one of the best ever as she now sits in second place in career shutouts with 13.

This season, Kaufman has recorded four shutouts against Florida International, NAU, Nevada and Idaho. With 10 regular season games remaining, Kaufman should be able to surpass her total of five shutouts from last season.

While it seems unlikely she will pass former goalkeeper McCall Smith, Kaufman can still move up in the ranks in several other categories, including career saves and shutouts in a season.

Netkix

Last weekend was the Wildcats’ first time on television in 2014. They better get used to it.

In Arizona’s final 10 regular season games, six will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks, including this Friday’s matchup with Oregon State.

Here’s guessing the team would rather have fans come to Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium, though.
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Follow Brian Peel on Twitter @_brianpeel

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