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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Pilots soar over Wildcats, who take on BYU tonight”

    Portland Pilots goalkeeper Cori Alexander collides midair with Arizona forward London King during Arizonas 2-0 loss to the defending National Champions Friday night at Murphey Stadium. Alexanders second shutout of the season was the 34th of her career.
    Portland Pilots goalkeeper Cori Alexander collides midair with Arizona forward London King during Arizona’s 2-0 loss to the defending National Champions Friday night at Murphey Stadium. Alexander’s second shutout of the season was the 34th of her career.

    Despite the largest crowd in Arizona soccer history and a regional television audience, the Wildcats couldn’t keep pace with the defending national champion No. 5 Portland Pilots and suffered their first home loss of the season, 2-0, Friday evening.

    Playing in front of 1,010 fans, the Wildcats (6-3-0) mustered only six shots, including one on goal, against Pilot senior goalkeeper Cori Alexander, who recorded her second shutout of the season and 34th of her career.

    “”Portland had a great game,”” said UA head coach Dan Tobias, who added that the team spent too much time defending its own goal, which took away most of its energy. “”They controlled possession and capitalized on our mistakes.””

    The Pilots (7-2-1) levied 17 shots (five shots on goal) at sophomore goalie Chelsea McIntyre in snapping the Wildcats’ four-game winning streak.

    Portland junior forward Megan Rapinoe notched her nation-leading 10th goal of the season at the 16:58 mark to give her team a 1-0 lead. Freshman forward Kendra Chadhoke sealed the game on a feed from fellow freshman forward Michelle Enyeart in the 77th minute.

    “”It was a tough loss,”” said Jacqueline Broussard, a UA freshman midfielder. “”We came out hoping for the best.

    “”Everyone played their heart out tonight.””

    Still, Arizona’s reserved attack style forced the Wildcats to play from behind. Sophomore forward Gianna DeSaverio had the most offensive muscle for the Wildcats, taking three shots.

    “”They played a lot calmer than we did,”” McIntyre said. “”They are a team that hates to defend. If we played with that same mentality, we would have done better.””

    The loss to the team that also ended Arizona’s season in last year’s Sweet Sixteen had McIntyre itching for a rematch.

    “”I hope to God we get to play them again,”” she said.

    We need to come out harder. The season is not going to get any easier.– Chelsea McIntyre, sophomore goalie

    Despite the fact two goals were the least that Arizona had ever given up to Portland, Tobias said that he felt the team got more pressure on the Pilot defense in last season’s 4-0 loss.

    “”We were more aggressive last season,”” he said.

    For a team with no seniors on the roster – and one of its four juniors (goalkeeper McCall Smith) on the shelf – Tobias felt the game against Portland, which went undefeated on its way to the national championship last season, was a learning experience.

    “”This is progress for a young group,”” Tobias said, but added he would rather his team “”not learn these lessons during games.””

    Turning an eye toward tonight’s matchup with No. 14 Brigham Young (7-1-1) in Provo, Utah, which couldn’t be scheduled in the usual Sunday slot because BYU athletic teams – consisting largely of athletes of Mormon faith – can’t play on Sundays, Broussard didn’t seem to care who the team played.

    “”We are going to come back with revenge on our minds,”” she said. “”I think BYU is going to be another really good challenge for us.””

    The game marks the beginning of a busy week for Arizona, with a matchup at Cal State Fullerton looming Thursday.

    “”We need to come out harder,”” McIntyre said. “”The season is not going to get any easier.””

    The Cougars return a number of familiar faces from their 2-1 win over Arizona in Tucson last season, including eight starters and 22 letter-winners.

    The group includes junior goalie Erika Woodbury, who allows an average of 0.54 goals per game, and sophomore forward Katie Larkin, who leads the team with three goals.

    BYU enters the contest coming off a 1-1 tie against Utah, after previously beating ranked competition earlier this season in No. 16 Georgia and No. 23 Fresno State.

    “”This week is going to get us,”” McIntyre said. “”We need to come out well-rested and kick ass.””

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