TSA FC faces off with bitter rivals Phoenix del Sol
Struggling squad made improvements, but scoring still an issue
FC Tucson clinched first place in their division this past weekend. TSA FC, Tucson’s women’s soccer team, hasn’t had quite that success.
“We have not scored a goal in four games,” acknowledged coach Amy Garelick. “We need to score goals … giving up an early goal, that seems to be our issue.”
Their record is not just a contrast with the men’s side, but their success last season. Their debut saw the squad, with only a few days of preseason together, post a 7-1-1 record and earn a place in the playoffs. They are in a tougher division this year, and out of playoff contention with three games left.
The team has improved. A late July road trip saw them play a stronger match against LA Premier, going down 2–0 to a team that beat them 6–1 earlier this season. They also had a close game against LA Hotspur, but succumbed to an early penalty kick.
Tuesday night’s match will be against Phoenix del Sol. Del Sol is the only team left from TSA’s old division, and there is a long standing rivalry between the two clubs. Women on both teams have played each other for years for different youth squads. The rivalry isn’t friendly.
“Last year, it was so competitive, there was a fight,” said midfielder Laura Pimienta of a match between the two teams in Casa Grande last year that ended with a player on each team getting red carded for a melee. “This year, we played them up in Phoenix, and there was almost a fight. We tied, so it comes down to this game.”
“We are expecting a win, definitely,” said Garelick. “Getting a tie was a good morale boost for us. Coming in tomorrow night, we are expecting a win at home.”
In a reversal of the usual game-day schedule, FC Tucson is playing the Menlo League Champion at 5:30 p.m., with TSA FC being at the top of the card with their match against Phoenix del Sol at 7:30 p.m. The matches will be at Kino North Stadium near the corner of Country Club and Ajo.