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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats take on Huskies and Cougars

Robert Alcaraz / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA soccer plays USC on Sept. 30, 2012.

For most of the Arizona soccer team, its games against Washington and Washington State will be just a typical weekend of travel for the Wildcats. For junior forward Candice Osei-Agyemang, who hails from Sammamish, Wash., it’s homecoming when the UA takes on the Huskies at 3 p.m. on Friday. Arizona will take on the Cougars on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Not only will Osei-Agyemang be playing against former teammates from her club and Olympic Development Program teams, but her family will also be in attendance.

“It’s exciting to go home because this is my first year actually playing in college,” Osei-Agyemang said. “Also, last year I got to go watch my friends play at UW which made me think, I can’t wait to play, because it is always fun to play against friends.”

The familiar atmosphere and the fact that Osei-Agyemang knows the competition so well gives the Wildcats an edge going into Friday’s match against Washington.

Arizona’s all-time record against the Huskies is 3-14, with six of the losses being shutouts. In the last meeting on Oct. 28, 2011, the Wildcats suffered its worst lost against Washington 0-4.

Even though Arizona tied the Huskies for shots on goal, the Wildcats just could not connect with the back of the net.

Then-freshman Jaclyn Softli led Washington with two goals and will be returning to lead the offensive line this weekend.

According to Osei-Agyemang, Huskies’ midfielder Lindsay Elston is another strong player who currently leads Washington with seven goals and a 50 percent shot-on goal percentage for the season.

“The funny thing is, she is my neighbor,” Osei-Agyemang said. “She was on my high school team, my club team and my ODP team so I will share with my teammates what it takes to upset her.”

As Arizona sits down for its scouting report, Osei-Agyemang will share that Washington likes to play more of an offensive game and also provide insight into what the Wildcats need to do to overcome the 8-3-1 Huskies.

“We are good both offensively and defensively when we keep the ball on the ground,” Osei-Agyemang said. “I think if we are able to be more physical with them and not just match up with them physically, then we will upset them.”

The Wildcats have been working on emphasizing the attacking aspect of their game by going at opponents one-on-one more frequently.

“We have to watch out for UDub’s quick transitions,” Osei-Agyemang said. “Their midfield is very strong, and we are going to have the biggest problem in midfield. However, if we are able to shut that down, then we will be successful.”

On Sunday, Arizona will take on Washington State, which is a team the Wildcats have another losing record to of 3-13-1.

In their last meeting on Oct. 30, 2011, Washington State overtook the Wildcats in a 2-0 shutout victory. The Cougars took an early two-goal lead at the 23rd minute mark of the first half. Arizona attempted to fight back, but the team’s five shots on goal never connected with the back of the net.
Washington State forwards Brandi Vega and Tiara Pittman led the Huskies with 13 of the 17 shots scoring the two goals to win the game.

Even though Pittman graduated last year, Vega returns as a senior to lead the Cougars as the second highest scorer on the team with 4 goals and 29 shots.

— Iman Hamdan can be reached via Twitter @imanhamdanDW

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