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Arizona soccer hits Oregon Trail in search of first conference win

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UA Wildcats

Arizona soccer hits Oregon Trail in search of first conference win

Midfielder Hocking: 'We are craving it'

  • Blast from the Past: Gabi Stoian takes a shot against the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis in 2016.
    Dan DeGracieBlast from the Past: Gabi Stoian takes a shot against the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis in 2016.

The Arizona Wildcat soccer team had a strong start, outscoring their opponents 13-1 in their first four matches. However, they have not yet had a win in conference play. They hope to change that this weekend with a match on Friday against Oregon State and Sunday against Oregon.

“It’s two good opponents on the road with quick turnarounds,” coach Tony Amato said of the first road matches in conference play for the team. “Both Oregon and Oregon State beat Stanford this’s going to be a challenging weekend.”

The team is coming off of a loss last week against Washington. The team struggled to mount any sort of consistent offense.

“We didn’t create enough attack to win the game,” said Amato. “We want to improve attacking and defending in the box. That’s where we feel that games are going to be won and lost throughout the season.”

“We’ve been working a lot on transition...winning the ball and trying to get the attack going early,” said midfielder Iliana Hocking. “I feel it’s looking good. That’s where we have struggled.”

“We need to not play so frantic,” she added.

Yes, the two Oregon teams beat Stanford, but each one also only has one other win. The team is looking for this weekend to post their first PAC-12 wins.

“I think we have a lot of good players...I have a lot of hope for our team,” said Hocking. “I think in these past two weeks we got down on ourselves with these two losses. We are a fairly new team and haven’t experienced loss together. Hopefully that lights us up and we can get these next two wins. We are craving it.”

Friday night’s match against Oregon State will be at 8 p.m. Sunday’s contest with Oregon will be at noon.

Leaving on a jet plane

Aside from a drive to Phoenix at the beginning of last month, this weekend will be the first away matches of the season. This marks the first time the team will have to board an airplane while following COVID-19 precautions.

“Some people are a little nervous about flying. Tony is very anxious,” said Hocking. “We are not really nervous about the safety aspect. We are all anxious about winning these two games.”

“We are all pretty used to the precautions and all the protocols. It’s not going to weigh on our minds too much,” she added. “It’s going to be smooth sailing for the most part.”

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