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UA soccer

Wildcats settle for scoreless stalemate in home opener

The Arizona Wildcats women’s soccer team played the UC Irvine Anteaters to a nil-nil draw on Friday night. Both teams went through long offense-free stretches in the stalemate at Mulcahy Stadium.

Arizona pressed early, bringing the ball into the final third often but looks and chances didn’t become shots. When Irvine started to establish possession late in the half, they had the same problem.

When the whistle blew for the half, the stat sheet showed a single shot between both teams: a first-minute free kick taken by Gabi Stoian from just outside of the penalty box. The usually dangerous Wildcat sniper sent the ball over the crossbar.

Irvine’s miserly back line was still troublesome in the second half, particularly Jonnae Joseph. The Riverside native is listed as a forward but she played in the back and seemed to break up every play coming down the Anteaters’ right flank.

The Wildcat offense did a better job of bringing more forwards into the attack and communicated better. Still, the 90th minute ticked away with nobody able to score.

Both teams were clearly spent from playing a full match in the heat when they went into overtime. The best chance came in minute 99, with Charlotte Brascia making a solo effort that was saved by the Irvine keeper.

The Cats next travel to Tempe to take on the University of Central Florida (Friday) and Boston University (Sunday). They return to Tucson on September 8 to play against Florida Gulf Coast.

Frustration

A scoreless tie is disappointing for a team that has had a string of wins. Setting aside their 7-0 win against Beijing Normal University earlier this week, the team outscored opponents 7-1 in three matches before Friday.

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“There’s some frustration there. They want to win,” said coach Tony Amato after the match. “Anytime you get a clean sheet, you feel like you should get at least a goal to win the game.”

As disappointing a match as it was, it was a good test of how conference opponents would play.

“It’s similar to a lot of games in the PAC,” he said. “They have a lot of good players, dangerous forwards. They were tough and fought hard and did all of what we’ll expect in the second leg of PAC-12 games.

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1 comment on this story

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7 comments
Aug 31, 2017, 3:36 pm
-0 +1

I’m glad that the write-up isn’t as long as the match was.

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