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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Soccer prepares for last home stand of season

    Before they knew it, the Wildcats’ season is coming close to an end.

    The Arizona soccer team (8-6-1, 1-2-1 Pacific 10 Conference) takes to its home field for the final time this season for a home stand with games tonight at 7 against No. 3 UCLA (12-2-0, 3-0-0) and at 1 p.m. Sunday against No. 23 Southern California (7-3-3, 0-1-2) at Murphey Stadium.

    By no means is this going to be an easy weekend for the Wildcats, who are coming off a disappointing run against No. 22 Stanford and No. 28 California.

    “”It goes so quickly, I didn’t realize it was going to be the last home game,”” said freshman midfielder Jacqueline Broussard. “”It’s going to motivate us even more.””

    The Wildcats have had the most success at home with a 5-2 record this year.

    “”It’s nice to be home,”” UA head coach Dan Tobias said. “”We need to have a good home stand.””

    The Wildcats have never fared well against the Bruins, as Arizona has only gotten the better of UCLA once in 12 meetings.

    It won’t be easy for the Wildcat defense, as the Bruins average a conference-best 1.93 goals per game. They are led by freshman forward Lauren Cheney (2.20 points per game) – who has scored 11 goals in 10 games – and junior midfielder Danesha Adams (1.38), both of whom are the conference’s leaders in points per game.

    “”I’m really excited,”” sophomore forward Gianna DeSaverio said. “”My favorite team to play is UCLA. It’s always a tough match and really intense.””

    Broussard said the games this weekend are crucial to Arizona’s season and that that thought is weighing on the team.

    “”We are just looking to play well,”” she said. “”UCLA is going to be a great test for us to see if we can achieve what we’ve been working on.””

    The Trojans, meanwhile, have allowed the conference’s fewest goals behind junior goalie Veronica Simonton, who allows a conference-low 0.52 goals per game (seven goals in 13 games).

    DeSaverio said that if the Wildcats are going to be successful this weekend, they need to focus.

    Tobias said that he tries not to put a big emphasis on who the team is playing but recognizes that the weekend is going to be important.

    “”These are two good teams that are well-coached,”” Tobias said.

    DeSaverio wants to see the work ethic improve for this final home game of the season.

    “”(The work ethic) still needs to be improved on,”” she said. “”This weekend will be different. We’ll put it together.””

    Broussard said that this last home stand will give the Wildcats the push they need to perform at their very best.

    “”There will be a more energetic vibe on us because it’s the last home stand,”” Broussard said.

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