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Posted Aug 24, 2012, 9:57 am
The University of Arizona soccer team has shown improvement over last season, but it wasn't enough to overcome an early error and the Wildcats fell to BYU 1-0 on Thursday night at Mulcahy Stadium.
The only goal in the match came in the third minute when Arizona goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman saved an initial shot, but BYU's Jaiden Thornock took advantage of the rebound.
It was Kaufman's one error in an otherwise good half for the former Texas Tech keeper, as the Wildcats were out-shot 6-3 for the first 45.
The second half looked better for the Cats, with New Zealand international Hannah Wong taking a shot five minutes after the whistle blew. It was the first time that BYU keeper Erica Owens was tested in the match.
Arizona's Jazmin Ponce and Ana-Maria Montoya each logged shots on goal as the half wore on, but the strong Owens managed to notch her first clean sheet of the season.
It is the second loss in two games for the Wildcats, both losses coming in one goal games. The team will be traveling to Flagstaff to face Northern Arizona on Sunday.
'We made them work'
"If you take away the first three minutes..." head coach Lisa Oyen quipped after the match.
"I thought BYU was a good team... I thought we made them work," she noted.
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Despite her early error, Oyen likes what she's seeing about the team's new starting keeper, Gabby Kaufman.
"I thought Gabby was very solid," she said. "I thought she held everything she needed to. She did her job very well."
"We heard her," noting the rapport that a goal keeper needs to establish, particularly with the back line. "She had a presence today, that's from her maturity."
Turning to the offense, Oyen noted "I'm not satisfied with our first half."
"I thought in the second half we came out and did a bit more of what we needed to," she continued. "When you have that set back from a goal it takes you a while to get back into that rhythm. It took us a little longer than I wanted to to build back to there."
"Halftime was our time to regroup, and we did better after that."
There are still many new players being integrated into the squad, and the lack of communication showed at times in the midfield and defense.
"We need to be a little bit more familiar with each other," said Ana-Maria Montoya.
Montoya missed some preseason preparation because of her time at the Olympics, and any chance she had to become more familiar with her teammates this week was blown when afternoon monsoons limited practice time. Still, she managed to create offense both through creating chances for other players and on her own. She tallied five shots.
Also recording five shots was Jazmin Ponce.
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"Everything was going well. Everyone is getting used to each other," the forward said. "We need to work on some things, but we're good, we're solid."
"We didn't let them do anything else afterward," she noted of the first goal. "We were challenging their keeper. Their keeper was getting scared."
"If we could have just placed it on the ground, we probably could have finished it," she noted.