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Posted Oct 29, 2011, 8:21 pm
The University of Arizona Wildcats tallied an impressive 16 shots Friday night, but once again, lack of strong finishing and defensive mistakes led to their undoing. The University of Washington Huskies took down the Cats, 4-0.
"Just little let downs that they capitalized on, little mistakes we made and they put them in the back of the net," said defender Shannon Heinzler after the game. "We didn't capitalize on our chances in front of goal."
The game started well, with Arizona earning two corner kicks in the first five minutes. But Arizona was unable to score off of those chances and Washington started to impose themselves more into Arizona's defensive third.
In the 21st minute, Washington scored off a shot by forward Jaclyn Softli. The play wrote Arizona's problems for the night in large, bold type: Softli's shot went in after it was inadvertently deflected by forward Kristin Strother who tracked back to help the defense. The shot even left Ashley Jett, Arizona's normally rock-solid keeper, flat-footed and shocked.
Washington scored once more, leaving Arizona two goals down going into the break.
After the start of the second half, Washington took advantage of their lead and left more players in the back. At some points, they left only a single player up top. This left fewer options for Arizona to get back into the game.
"It's harder to get in behind when they have numbers back," said forward Ariel Boulicault. "You try to find holes in the defense or maybe a ball over the top. Anything to get something in the attack."
To some extent, it worked. Arizona put up 11 chances at the goal in the second half. Still, none found its way into Washington's net.
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By the time Jazmin Ponce made a crowd pleasing but ultimately fruitless run at Huskies substitute goalkeeper Kari Davidson in minute 85, Washington was up by three. They would score once more before the whistle blew.
The Wildcats face Washington State on Sunday. Kick off is at 11 a.m. at Mulcahy Stadium, so go to early Mass.
Elvis has left the building
Wilbur made an appearance at Friday night's game, as did Elvis.
Yep, Elvis in Arizona colors with his flapper companion.
What, you never heard of Elvis's flapper gal?
"I play Vegas once in a while, and I saw her and we clicked," he said.
The two were really Todd and Kathy Heinzler, the parents of Shannon Heinzler, celebrating an early Halloween.
"It's been a tough season," they admit, but they've come out from Los Angeles for every home game.
How did Shannon feel about the Elvis costume?
"Yeah, that's my dad," she said. "Right when I saw Elvis walk in I knew it was him. I just shook my head."
Aragon gets her chance
Teams tend to stay with a single goalkeeper game after game. This is even true in college soccer where field players are switched mid-game on a regular basis.
So, how do you get your back-ups experience, especially when you know your starter will be graduating?
Sophmore goalkeeper Lorena Aragon has been given the chance twice so far this season, both times when a lopsided score had already put the game out of reach. Still, playing time is rare.
"Those players have to treat training like games. They have to know that that's their opportunity," said coach Lisa Oyen. "Sometimes they can get more development because they can take more risks in training knowing that it doesn't go on our stats for the year. They can play with more guts."
She calls Jett "phenomenal," but Oyen also is happy with what she sees from Aragon so far.
"It's good to get Lorena in a few games to test her, to see how she does in a game situation. She's done really well," Oyen said.
Aragon herself prefers not to think of herself as an understudy, and the Tucson native doesn't like to refer to her relationship with Jett as one of mentorship.
"We're a team," she said.