UA soccer drops a delayed preseason match; FC Tucson has break to regroup
Chelf scores for Wildcats; FCT's Pearlman laments defensive performance, breakdowns
The Arizona Wildcats lost a preseason match against San Diego State on a cloudy Thursday morning. Midfielder Megan Chelf scored the Wildcats’ only goal in the 2 - 1 loss.
The match, originally scheduled for Wednesday night at Mulcahy Stadium, was delayed due to concerns about lightning.
Chelf scored her goal in the 36th minute after freshman Ella Hatenberg combined with Nicole Dallin to create the chance.
After what coach Becca Moros said was a slow start, the soccer team had many looks at goal. The trouble was getting those chances into the back of the net.
“We had opportunities to score that we missed,” she said. “We had another four or five opportunities that could have been goals… I think we need to eliminate some of those mistakes and make sure we capitalize on our chances.”
“We had over 20 opportunities and we need to score more than one when we get that many chances,” she said.
So far, the team has earned a win and a loss, the win coming last Sunday in Flagstaff against NAU. This is the first preseason that Moros has had a chance to map out with some of her own recruits. She likes the results so far.
“I think the team is a million times better place than we were when we started last year,” she said. “This has been neat to see the quality of players coming through.”
The Wildcats continue preseason with a visit from Iowa State next Thursday night at Mulcahy Stadium.
'Frayed' FC Tucson has a break
FC Tucson’s match on Saturday was, unfortunately, typical of their season. Although they opened the scoring with a beautiful curving shot by Giovanni Calixtro, the team let three in and succumbed to a red card before the final whistle blew.
This week, they have something rare: a week off. Coach Jon Pearlman welcomes the chance to regroup.
“It will be helpful; everybody needs to recharge their batteries both physically and mentally,” he said. “Maybe a reset will help us.”
The trouble over the last few weeks has been on the defensive side, but Pearlman noted that the return of midfielder Tevin Shaw and defender Tyler Allen will bolster things in that part of the field.
The team’s record so far this season, which only includes three wins, none at home, has, Pearlman admits, “frayed” the team’s confidence. Despite everything, the team usually keeps things close despite late match breakdowns. It can make the losses even more frustrating.
“I don’t think anyone feels comfortable against us; the league is too close,” he said. “There’s a ton of parity…we are a wounded animal that’s scary to people.”
“There isn’t a game where we didn’t feel hope, then we feel despair,” he added.
The team will travel to Windsor, Colorado next week to play the Northern Colorado Hailstorm.