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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona soccer prepares for pair of games

Cecilia Alvarez

Arizona freshman midfielder Gabi Stoian (9) kicks the ball up the field during Arizona’s 4-0 win against Nevada in the Arizona Cats Classic at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium on Sept. 12. Stoian, who leads Arizona in points, and the Wildcats face Lipscomb and Idaho this weekend.

Playing in its final two nonconference games of the season, Arizona soccer (4-1-1) will look to continue its recent win streak when Lipscomb and Idaho come to Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium this weekend.

On Friday night at 7 p.m., the Wildcats will play host to the Lipscomb Lady Bisons (5-3-1) out of Nashville, Tenn.

The Lady Bisons, who play in the Atlantic Sun Conference, have been winning games this season with defense, allowing only five goals through nine games played including shutting out five of their opponents. Offensively, the Lady Bisons are led by sophomore forward Ellen Lundy, who has four goals.

Arizona head coach Tony Amato said the team’s play of late signifies growth going into conference play.

“We’re making progress,” Amato said. “Early in the season, I wasn’t totally clear in what our identity was, and now I have a better picture of that, mainly coming off the way we played against Texas A&M and Oklahoma State on a neutral site and then coming home and playing well against Nevada, even with all the delays. I feel like now we have a clear idea of how we’re going to win games in the Pac-12 [Conference], and we’re just going to have to keep getting better at that every step of the way.”

Wildcat senior midfielder/forward LeeAndra Smith agreed with her coach’s assessment.

“I think the team has always been good,” Smith said. “I think the difference now is that we’re starting to click a little bit more and starting to figure each other out. We’re starting to see our potential in a more fulfilling way.”

The victory over Nevada on Sept. 12 was another dominating performance by Wildcat freshman midfielder Gabi Stoian, who notched her first career hat trick against the Wolf Pack. Stoian, who now has six goals on the season, is currently in third place in the Pac-12 for both goals scored and total points. This season, she leads the Wildcats in both goals and assists through six games.

Closing out the Wildcats’ weekend on Sunday at 12 p.m. will be the Idaho Vandals of the Big Sky Conference. So far this season, the Vandals have struggled mightily, losing all seven of their games and scoring only a single goal while allowing their opponents to score 19 goals.

Idaho, which hasn’t scored a goal since its season opener on Aug. 22, might have played its best game of the season last Sunday when it nearly pulled out a stunner against visiting Washington State before falling 1-0.

Follow Brian Peel on Twitter @_brianpeel

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