Arizona Wildcats soccer
Wildcats succumb to Golden Bears' golden goal
Defensive effort guaranteed shutout in regular time, but lapse cost squad dearly
Arizona Wildcats coach Lisa Oyen described Friday's match against the University of California Golden Bears this way:
"You can dominate a game for ninety minutes; you can play well for the entire game. You have five seconds in the game where you make a mistake in the front half, make a mistake in the back half and that's the entire game."
Call it Oyen's Reader's Digest version of the match. Despite Arizona keeping the Golden Bears scoreless throughout the 90 regulation minutes of play, it took 46 seconds of overtime for Cal to score and end the match victoriously.
Arizona had long stretches of possession in the first half, but had trouble finding seams in the Cal defense.
It was in the second half that Arizona's domination on the ball began to pay off: they managed seven shots. The team started kicking up the energy level after the hour mark.
Julia Glanz came off the bench for a shot that went over the crossbar, followed minutes later by a header from Ana-Maria Montoya that was saved by Cal keeper Emily Kruger.
Cal's Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick set up a good opportunity for Arizona when she took down Arizona's Shannon Heinzler in minute 79 with what seemed to be an audition for Lucha Libre. Fitzpatrick got the yellow card, and Arizona's Kristyn Magyar, often called on in set plays, was given the ball just short of the center line.
Unfortunately, it was not to be: the ball was lost in the scrum of Arizona and Cal players. The second frame ended with no score for either side, and overtime was about to begin.
Fans settled in for what they thought would be fifteen or twenty more minutes of play. Instead, Arizona lost possession at the half, and the ball quickly moved into Ashley Jett's penalty area. The defense was unable to clear the ball, and before anyone — fans, coaches or players — expected, the ball was at the back of the net and Cal players were celebrating.
'Waiting for that moment'
Jazmin Ponce had four shots in the game, half of the team's total. As expected, she was frustrated afterward
"We were the better team... we obviously kicked butt today," she said in a moment of bravado. "But, it's just that..." she trailed off, but summed up the result for many.
Finishing: Despite breaking the scoring drought weeks ago, goals are elusive for the squad. It's a big frustration for Ponce.
"I get to do a lot, and not one goes in. I'm waiting for that moment when one goes in, and then they'll start coming after that."
Other forwards getting a shot on goal included Ana-Maria Montoya (with two), Ariel Boulicault and Julia Glanz.
The team will have no Sunday game this weekend, but will travel next week to face UCLA on Friday and USC on Sunday.
Golden goals in them thar hills
The golden goal, or as non-soccer folks refer to it "sudden death," is not used much in top-flight soccer these days, but was a the main way to resolve ties in soccer matches between 1993 and 2004.
Perhaps the most important match decided by a golden goal was the 2003 Women's World Cup final pitting Germany against Sweden. The winner was scored in the 98th minute by Nia Künzer. The goal was chosen "Goal of the Year" by German fans, the only goal in women's soccer to be so honored.
The most spectacular golden own goal was scored by Alaves defender Delfí Geli in the 2001 edition of the UEFA Cup final. The poorly executed clearance by the Catalan right back gave Liverpool the victory in that contest.
The New England Revolution fell to the Los Angeles Galaxy on golden goals in cup finals two years in a row: the 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2002 MLS Cup. The 2002 contest ran 113 minutes before a goal was scored by Carlos Ruiz, making it the longest match in Major League Soccer history.
The golden goal was abolished by FIFA, the governing body of world soccer in 2004. It is still used in NCAA matches and, of all places, beach soccer.