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The Daily Wildcat

 

Soccer sweeps Oregon schools

Owen+Forest+%2F+The+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0ADuring+the+first+half+of+Arizonas+1-0+win+against+Oregon+at+Mulcahy+Stadium+on+Sunday%2C+Oct.+5%2C+2014.
Owen Forest
Owen Forest / The Daily Wildcat During the first half of Arizona’s 1-0 win against Oregon at Mulcahy Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014.

In what was their most dominant defensive two-game set of the season, Arizona soccer (8-2-1, 2-1-0 Pac-12 Conference) swept the Oregon schools over the weekend at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium. The Wildcats shutdown both teams from the Beaver State, rolling Oregon State 2-0 on Friday before squeaking out a close 1-0 win against Oregon on Sunday afternoon.

This was the first time since 2005 that Arizona soccer has won two games in a weekend against Pac-10/12 competition.

Sunday’s matchup with the Oregon Ducks was a defensive stalemate with both teams creating a handful of close chances, but only the Wildcats taking advantage, winning 1-0.

Things got started quickly for the Wildcats when freshman midfielder Gabi Stoian knocked in her eighth goal of the season just 39 seconds into the game when a long throw-in from one of her teammates created confusion in the Ducks’ penalty area. Arizona junior forward Hannah Wong had a few nice looks at the goal later in the half but was unable to extend the Wildcats’ lead.

After a sloppy and lethargic first half from Oregon, the Ducks came out with more energy after halftime and nearly found the equalizer in the 63rd minute, but Oregon Kristen Parr’s header went just wide off of a corner kick. For the remainder of the half, Arizona started to drop back more on defense and swarmed the Oregon attackers, limiting the Ducks to very few shots to actually challenge Wildcat senior goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman.

Oregon managed to fire off 14 shots in total with four on target, but almost all the shots were from distance and easily saved.Senior defender Mykalin Rosenquist said defense is something the team will always take pride in.

“Here at home we just defend hard,” Rosenquist said. “That’s kind of been our forte, since [Wildcat head coach Tony Amato] took over, and we take pride in all our defending and just how hard we work to get the ball back up to the forwards to score.”

On Friday against a struggling Oregon State Beavers squad, Arizona completely controlled the game and walked away with a 2-0 victory.

With the Beavers doing nothing offensively, the Wildcats went up 1-0 when they were rewarded a penalty kick after an Arizona player was held on a corner kick in the 20th minute. For the second time this season, Wildcat junior defender Sheaffer Skadsen was called on to take the penalty, and much like earlier in the season, she fired it in with ease.

The second half was much of the same with Arizona dominating Oregon State both in terms of possession and shots. In the 59th minute, the Wildcats’ second and final goal of the match came by way of a corner kick when Stoian found Kaitlyn Lopez unmarked for the perfectly hit header.

For Lopez, it was her second goal of the season.

“We put a lot of emphasis on set plays and corners in particular,” Lopez said. “I was in the spot I was supposed to be in, and the ball came and I instinctually got a head on it.”

For the game, Oregon State was only able to produce two shots with none on goal. Overall this weekend, Arizona held its two opponents to six shots against Kaufman.

Amato said he liked his team’s defensive efforts.

“Our girls were putting them under pressure,” Amato said. “We limited their time and space and being able to deny chances by winning their first ball in the air. Overall, I thought from our forwards through our back four, they did a really good job of locking things up.”

The Wildcats now begin a long road stretch when they are away from Tucson for their next three games, starting with the Washington schools next weekend.

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Follow Brian Peel on Twitter.

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