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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Lackluster effort sends soccer to shutout

    Arizonas Lauren Bennett (right) is pushed in the back by San Diego States Ashley Omphroy during the Wildcats 1-0 loss to the Aztecs yesterday at Murphey Stadium. San Diego State scored its only goal off a free kick in a game marked by physical play.
    Arizona’s Lauren Bennett (right) is pushed in the back by San Diego State’s Ashley Omphroy during the Wildcats’ 1-0 loss to the Aztecs yesterday at Murphey Stadium. San Diego State scored its only goal off a free kick in a game marked by physical play.

    Blame it on the heat, blame it on the players. Whatever the cause, the Arizona soccer team meandered to a 1-0 loss to San Diego State at Murphey Stadium yesterday.

    Following a 2-0 win over Creighton on Friday night, the Wildcats (5-5-0) suffered their third shutout loss in the last four games.

    “”I didn’t feel we put forth our best effort, or anywhere close to it,”” said UA head coach Dan Tobias. “”Our effort was not where it has been for most of the season. I take my hat off to San Diego State, they deserved to win today.””

    Throughout the day, Arizona appeared to always be one step behind the Aztecs (5-4-2). On several occasions when the Wildcats had chances to push the ball into the Aztecs’ zone, they had the ball poked away and cleared.

    Arizona struggled to advance the ball in the first half especially, resulting in only one shot on goal.

    “”It’s tough for any team to keep the ball if we don’t have 11 players who want the ball,”” Tobias said. “”In the first 55 minutes of the game, we’d have one player on the ball and the rest standing. It was extremely disappointing.””

    In addition to out-hustling the Wildcats, San Diego State also implemented a physical style of play. The two teams combined for 20 fouls with several other close calls.

    Forward Analisa Marquez said she felt the game’s physical nature made it difficult for Arizona to execute effectively.

    “”Whenever (a game) turns into a more physical match than a technical match, it always interferes with the play,”” she said. “”You start worrying about getting tackled and getting injuries.””

    Fittingly, the lone goal in the contest came as a result of physical play. In the 42nd minute, Arizona midfielder Macke Mutz collided with an Aztec player while going for the ball just outside the box. Mutz was called for the foul, giving San Diego State a free kick.

    The Aztecs’ Millie Allen took the kick and sailed it into the upper left corner of the net over the head of leaping UA goalie Danielle Nicolai.

    Tobias said the decisive goal came as a result of “”an unnecessary foul.””

    He added that the foul “”was dictated by San Diego State and their ability to not only get to the ball first but initiate body contact and get good position.””

    What disappointed Tobias most was knowing how much better his team can play, as evidenced against Creighton (5-5-0).

    The Wildcats wasted no time getting on the board, as forward Jasmine Day scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season off a well-placed corner kick by forward Jasmine Namdar in only the third minute of play.

    “”I looked for (Day’s) head because she was the tallest one there,”” Namdar said. “”So I took it and I think it hit the crossbar and Jasmine managed to get her head on it.””

    The Wildcats tacked on their second goal when a rebound off midfielder Leila Amini’s shot bounded right to fellow midfielder Karina Camacho, who managed to punch it in from the right side of the goal box.

    Namdar said playing with a lead can be a big influence on Arizona’s success.

    “”It really picks up our momentum,”” she said. “”If we get that one goal early, it gets us going for those second and third goals later in the game.””

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