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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Soccer fights for overtime win over Utah

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA loss to Ohio, Soccer at UA Sunday Sept 19
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA loss to Ohio, Soccer at UA Sunday Sept 19

Freshman Jazmin Ponce said with confidence last week in practice that if you just gave her the ball she could make something happen.

On Sunday night, Ponce took a feed from senior Alex Davis in the seventh minute of overtime and made good on her promise, sending the game-winning goal into the back of the net to give the Wildcats (3-5-2) a much needed 1-0 overtime win over Utah.

“”Ponce came up big in overtime with a beautiful goal, just a really nice finish. To see that sort of sophistication in the finishing from a freshman was something that was very encouraging for us,”” head coach Lisa Oyen said.

Desperate for a goal after being shut out in Friday’s 2-0 loss to Loyola Marymount University (7-3) and for the first 96 minutes against Utah (2-10), Ponce’s strike rewarded Arizona’s defense for its stingy play that kept the Utes off the board.

The Wildcats waited patiently through a full match and then some on Sunday, waiting to catch their break.

Oyen talked after the game about how frustration can sometimes get the upper hand on a team when things don’t go its way, but was proud to see her team demonstrate the mental toughness needed to win a match like Sunday’s.

“”Even when things weren’t going well they really stuck to the game plan of what we were trying to accomplish,”” Oyen said.

“”Sometimes it gets frustrating when what you’re trying to do doesn’t work in the first half of the game, and you tend to deviate from what you think is going to be successful, but they kept working until the final minute.””

Offense was at a premium over the weekend as Ponce’s game-winner was Arizona’s lone goal in two matches.

Even though UA kept pace with the Lions in shot attempts, each team finishing with 14, LMU shut out Arizona on offense, keeping the Wildcats at bay by forcing them to take shots from long distances.

Freshman Ana Montoya led the Wildcats’ offensive attack on Friday, trying to find the back of the net on her five shot attempts but coming up short.

Oyen described the first five to ten minutes of play on Friday as strong, much like the box score indicated. However, two first half goals from LMU allowed the Lions to ultimately outpace the Wildcats and hand Arizona its second straight loss.

Despite being shut out, Oyen felt that each game results in Arizona being able to see different formations from opponents, which is important as the start of Pacific 10 conference play looms next week.

“”It gives us a chance to see some different formations than we’re going to see all throughout the Pac-10. We’re still trying to find that best group, that best chemistry and that best style of play that’s going to be successful for us,”” Oyen said.

Arizona owed much of Sunday’s win over Utah to the play of junior goalkeeper Ashley Jett, who never lost focus in the long match.

“”It was (Jett’s) first career shutout, and she’s been working very hard. It was really great to see that work pay off tonight,”” Oyen said.

The Wildcats had not been able to walk off the field with a victory since Sept. 12, and Oyen spoke with a hint of relief after being able to leave the field on Sunday with a sweet taste in her mouth after a hard-fought match.

“”It does feel good to walk away with a win,”” Oyen said.

 

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