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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats smother NAU 4-0 to remain undefeated

Arizona women’s soccer routed NAU 4-0 on Friday night in Flagstaff at Lumberjack Stadium in front of a record-breaking 3,263 people.

This was the first road test of the season for the team, but the Wildcats were able to continue their hot start to the season.

“I thought it was a good overall performance for us,” head coach Tony Amato said. “They had a big crowd and any time you play an in-state opponent, there will be high energy.”

The Wildcats got off to a lightning-quick start when junior Haley Silverberg scored on a pass from last week’s Pac-12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week, Gabi Stoian, in the 11th minute. It was Silverberg’s first goal this season, and Stoian’s second assist and eighth point of the year.

That was just the beginning of a prolific night for Arizona’s offense.

Paige Crouch scored her first goal of the season on an assist from Jaden DeGracie in the 30th minute to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.

That was the score at the half, but it didn’t remain that way for long. Hannah Stevens scored her first goal of the season just three minutes into the second half to make it a 3-0 game.

The game would get even more out of reach when Hayley Estopare scored off a set piece that was started off a flip throw by DeGracie to make it 4-0.

“We had three good set piece goals and I thought we looked dangerous in those situations,” Amato said about the offense.

The Wildcats finished with 14 shots, with eight of them on goal, and six corner kicks.

The defense continued its dominance as well. After allowing just 11 shots through the first two games, they allowed just five tonight. Only three of them were on goal. They also didn’t concede a single corner kick.

Lainey Burdett and Rachel Estopare each played one half in net and combined for a shutout, though the stout defense certainly made things easy for them.

The win puts the Wildcats at 3-0 and the team’s early success has not gone unnoticed. The newest NSCAA’s National Poll was released on Tuesday and Arizona received 12 votes. It makes them the 35th ranked team in the country.

However, the team is in for its toughest challenge in the early goings of the season next weekend when they head to Tempe to take part in the Sun Devil Desert Classic. Their first game is against San Diego State, who received 69 votes in the National Poll and are also 3-0. That game will kickoff Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Then on Sunday, the Wildcats will face Stephen F. Austin at 11 a.m. Stephen F. Austin won the Southland Conference last year and finished with a 16-3-1 record, including a perfect 11-0 conference record. However, they have lost their first two games this season.

Arizona will look to take its blistering hot offense and relentless defense to Tempe and continue its hot start against two solid opponents.


Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter.


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