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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona soccer suffers first defeat of season against Pepperdine 1-0; game called with 10 minutes remaining due to weather

Zi Yang Lai

Arizona goal keeper Lainey Burdett (1) dives to block a shot by Pepperdine unsuccessfully on Sunday.

The Wildcats suffered their first loss of the season to No. 14 Pepperdine Sunday afternoon in a game that was shortened due to lightning.

Arizona controlled most of the first half as they outshot the Waves six to three, but neither side was able to score.

Forward Cece Bilginer suffered an injury in the 8th minute and returned to the field in crutches.

Pepperdine came out strong in the second half and scored less than two minutes in.

Arizona goalie Lainey Burdett, who replaced Rachel Estopare at halftime, was unable to hold onto a cross, and Pepperdine midfielder Mikayla Arcebido collected it and knocked it in to give the Waves a 1-0 lead.

The Wildcats did not panic and continued to dominate possession and create scoring chances.

In the 49th minute, Paige Crouch fired a shot from the top left of the penalty box towards the bottom right side of the goal. The shot just went wide.

Crouch had another opportunity in the 56th minute when Gabi Stoian led her with a beautiful touch pass towards the penalty box. Crouch got to the ball, ran forward and fired a shot, but it went wide as well.

The Wildcats had seven shots in the second half but they were simply unable to get one into the back of the net.

Lightning in the area prematurely ended the game in the 79th minute and Pepperdine was awarded the 1-0 win while the Wildcats were handed their first loss of the season. It’s a tough break for an Arizona team that was hoping to repeat Friday’s late-game magic.

“I don’t know if we would’ve come back, but when you think back to Friday, we scored with two minutes to go,” Arizona head coach Tony Amato said. “Our team always fights to the end and we still had 12 minutes to go and we would have liked to finish the game out.”

Arizona may not have gotten a win this weekend, but it wasn’t necessarily a failure for the team. The Wildcats showed they were capable of hanging with some of the best programs in the country.

“I’m proud of my team,” Amato said. “I know we can compete against anyone on any given day and we showed that throughout the two games this weekend.”

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter.

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