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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Soccer maintains focus heading into ASU

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona Wildcat soccer team hosted the University of San Francisco in a college soccer game Sunday, Oct. 3., 2010, at Murphy Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona rode two second-half goals to hold off the Dons in a 2-1 victory.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Wildcat soccer team hosted the University of San Francisco in a college soccer game Sunday, Oct. 3., 2010, at Murphy Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona rode two second-half goals to hold off the Dons in a 2-1 victory.

In rivalry games for every sport, the teams’ records get thrown out the window, and all that matters is the game about to be played.

Arizona soccer has had Friday night’s match against Arizona State at 7 in Tempe circled since its schedule was released, and its importance among players is undeniable.

“”Obviously it’s rivalry weekend, and it’s a huge game for all of us,”” said senior Macke Mutz. “”There’s a lot of young ones on the team who haven’t experienced this yet, so emotions are high, that’s for sure, but that’s good.””

This will mark Mutz’s fifth time against ASU, and with 12 freshmen on the roster facing ASU (7-3-1, 1-1 Pacific 10 conference play) for the first time, it becomes a tricky game trying to temper the enthusiasm without losing the competitive edge.

“”Honestly, there’s not much to tell them. They know it’s a big game, and they know they have to show up,”” Mutz said. “”I think they’re as excited as they are nervous, and I think that’s good.””

Head coach Lisa Oyen said she would be keeping an eye on the veterans in Friday’s match, trying to ensure that the tension of a rivalry game doesn’t stand in Arizona’s way.

“”We want to control the energy and emotion leading into this weekend. It’ll be interesting to see how they all handle it,”” Oyen said.

“”I think the returners have more history with all this, so I think it’s the upperclassman you have to be a little more concerned with, you know, making sure they’re not so amped up about it.””

Both sides are coming off a loss in their Pac-10 opening weekends, but after ousting the Sun Devils last season in a 2-1 overtime thriller, ASU is likely hungry for revenge.

The Wildcats know that the Pac-10 schedule shows no remorse, and each game requires the energy that makes the matches seem like one-game seasons.

“”So far practice has been really intense, and we know from last weekend that we have to step up our game,”” Mutz said.

Team training to stay fresh

With the grind of the Pac-10 season in top gear, little bumps and bruises have the danger of becoming more serious injuries.

Aware of the challenges of a full season in the Pac-10, Oyen has made small adjustments to the team’s training habits in order to keep them at 100 percent.

“”We’re so deep into the season that we’re just trying to keep the players fresh,”” Oyen said. “”We want to go hard enough so that we’re getting the right energy out of training but not so hard that we’re going to kill ourselves before the weekend.””

 

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