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FC Tucson women earn tight win over FC Arizona

Crenshaw scores lone goal; Masursky earns shutout

FC Tucson eked out a narrow win over Phoenix's FC Arizona at Kino North Stadium on Friday night. Tucson's Lauren Crenshaw's 32nd minute goal provided the margin in the 1 - 0 win.

The home soccer team used the center back pair of Mykaylin Rosenquist and Micaela Hornstein, freeing up Laura Pimienta to play further up field as a midfielder, albeit defense-oriented. The team also fielded Mexican national team player Luz Duarte.

Hannah Leightner had the best early look for FC Tucson. The RSL Academy player dribbled around the Arizona keeper, but a defender saved her shot off the line. She recovered the rebound, which was again parried by the defender.

The attempt started a long period of FC Tucson dominating possession. The pressure paid off with Crenshaw's short range shot in the 32nd minute that beat the Arizona keeper.

The second half started strong with Duarte trying her luck from just inside the centerline stripe. The shot went just over the crossbar.

FC Arizona played a bit chippier in the second half and managed to find a few looks at goal, but rarely provided a strong test for Tucson's teenaged keeper Emily Masursky.

The win puts FC Tucson at 10 points, level with Phoenix Del Sol and two points behind first place Albuquerque Sol. Tucson will face Del Sol in their next home match on July 2nd.

'A win is a win'

Despite the win, the team is still dogged by some of the same issues that its had throughout the season, said coach Kelly Pierce.

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"I'm always happy with a win," she said. "We made it more difficult than we needed to. We made it over complicated, too many touches, not capitalizing on opportunities. But, a win is a win."

Even with that issue, goal scorer Lauren Crenshaw sees this year's team as having some advantages over last year's squad.

"This group and the last group is very different, a lot more tactical," she said. "The last group was more going forward and running at people. I think both teams brought different things, different aspects."

"This team is very good at communication. We figured out a lot of things during the course of the game," she added.

Back to Tucson for Rosenquist

Mykaylin Rosenquist has been back in the FC Tucson line-up for a few weeks, but Friday was her first home match for the team this season.

Rosenquist, a former tough-minded Arizona Wildcat defender, has had a pro career that has taken her to Scandinavia, Australia, Russia and Utah. Her latest stint was with Kazakhstan club BIIK Kazygurt, where she got into the knockout rounds of UEFA's Women's Champions League.

As one of the more experienced players on the squad, she's got a responsibility to the younger FC Tucson players, including some that are still in high school.

"I try to lead by example; it's the best thing I can do for them," she said. "Us older players are leading by showing how we play, how we do things, talking, communicating with them. A lot of them are doing really well. We're proud of them."

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Dan DeGracie

FC Tucson's Lauren Crenshaw. The UTEP midfielder scored the lone goal in the match.