Arizona soccer begins conference play with 2-1 loss to Bruins
Goerlinger earns goal, Hisey gets 7 saves in effort
The University of Arizona Wildcats ended their four game winning streak with a home field loss to the No. 4 UCLA Bruins at Mulcahy Stadium on Friday night.
The opening moments of the match looked like it could be a replay of 2019’s 3-0 win. Arizona had two quick chances, including an on-frame shot by Jada Talley in the second minute of the match. Soon, UCLA got control of the game, with Delanie Sheehan having three shots in the first 15 minutes.
Given that early production, it came as no surprise that Sheehan, who has had several appearances for the U.S. youth national team, opened the scoring for her side. Shehan ran the ball through a confused Arizona back line to poke the ball past Hope Hisey in minute 19.
The Cats came back moments later off of some back and forth between Madison Goerlinger and Jada Talley. Goerlinger ran the ball upfield and passed it to Talley, that gave Goerlinger another step or two to split the UCLA defense. Talley passed it back to Goerlinger who tipped the ball over an on rushing Lauren Brzykcy, the UCLA Keeper, and equalized.
The tie held for 10 minutes until UCLA’s Mia Fishel snuck into the Arizona box to get it past Hisey.
The match was considerably calmer in the second half, with Arizona snipers Talley and Jill Aguilera mostly off the field. A more level-headed Arizona defense kept UCLA’s chances to a minimum.
A loss, to be sure, but Arizona kept it close against a team full of U.S. national prospects and prevented them from many serious looks at goal for the final hour. Cold comfort, said coach Tony Amato.
“I’m not really big on moral victories,” he said. “I want to do great and win games. Our goal is to win against the best teams. We had the opportunity to do that tonight and didn’t do it.”
Despite that, Amato had praise for the “mature” and “confident” Hisey, who ended the match with seven saves. Hisey was in a reflective mood after the game.
“I wish I had two more saves,” she said. “I think I helped us stay in the game, but I obviously have things to improve on...I’m not settling on anything.”
The team plays against the Washington schools at home next weekend with Washington on Friday and Washington State on Sunday.