- Radar van locations, traffic incidents & today's gas prices
- Live weather radar
- FC Tucson prepares to take on Seahorses
- J.C. Scott: Az Senate budget includes Medicaid expansion
- Downtown heats up for weekend
Posted Oct 12, 2012, 10:08 am
A capacity crowd of 1,021 fans shoe-horned into Mulcahy Stadium on Thursday night to see the University of Arizona Wildcats lose to No. 2-ranked Stanford, 4-1.
Despite the scoreline and the presence of several players for Stanford who play for U.S. youth national teams, the first half was surprisingly even, with the ball mostly staying in midfield.
The few Arizona thrusts at the back line were broken up by a surprisingly physical Cardinal defense led by Mexican national team player Alina Garciamendez.
Stanford's breaks past the midfield were far more productive, with former U.S. under-20 player Chioma Ubogagu scoring off of a left footed shot from about 20 yards out that caromed off the post.
The second half had the Wildcats struggling against a Stanford team that dominated possession and was nearly constantly in dangerous places in front of Gabby Kaufman's goal. Lo'eau LaBonta, starting at forward for the first time this season, opened the Cardinal's floodgates in the 48th minute with the team's second goal.
Then came the third. Then came the fourth.
After the game, head coach Lisa Oyen admitted that her team was intimidated.
"We could have handled the first half a little bit better, and to be honest the second half a little bit better," she said. "We're always going to have tough games in our conference...there's some nerves playing a game with Stanford on their jersey."
Still, Arizona was not without opportunities in the second half. Jazmin Ponce took her chances at the goal, and had five for the night. But it was Candice Osei-Agyemang who managed to prevent the Wildcats from being shut out.
In the 74th minute Osei-Agyemang, took advantage of an errant Stanford pass and dribbled through the defense. It left her and Cardinal keeper Emily Oliver alone. Osei-Agyemang's shot couldn't be saved.
The goal started an offensive burst for the Cats, but a full blown comeback was not to be. A beautiful header by Susana Melendez that found the back of the goal was ruled offside by the linesman.
The Cats ended the game down 4-1, and Stanford notched their 37th consecutive Pac-12 victory.
"It's good to see and it's frustrating to see," Oyen said about the offensive burst late in the game. "You see those 15 minutes of the game knowing that if you had just showed up the other 75 of the game playing the same way the result might have been different."
"I think it was little mistakes that we made," said midfielder Ana Maria Montoya. "They didn't break us down, just little mistakes."
"The game is over, we just have to take the positives away," she said. "Take those last 15 minutes and play with confidence."
One of those positives in the final minutes was Osei-Agyemang's goal. Despite their dominance, Stanford made some defensive errors. Osei-Agyemang was able to take advantage of one.
"The whole game I was looking for one of their center backs to make a mistake and capitalize on it," she said. "It paid off when they lost their concentration for a little bit."
The Wildcats are in the final stretch of the season and are headed for Oregon to take on the University of Oregon and Oregon State University next weekend.
Like what you're reading? Support high-quality local journalism and help underwrite independent news without the spin.