Arizona soccer shuts out usually dangerous Colorado side
Dallin, Briede score; Hisey with 2nd clean sheet in as many weeks
The Arizona Wildcats had a strong 2-0 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes at Mulcahy Stadium on Friday night.
The Wildcats pressured immediately, hemming Colorado into their half of the field in the opening moments of the match. The work paid off quickly, with Nicole Dalin heading a point-blank shot right into Colorado keeper Dani Hansen. Hansen bobbled the shot, giving Dalin another chance. A simple flick put Arizona gave Arizona the early lead.
Colorado changed out their keeper at the half, which has become routine for them this season. Sophomore Bella Grust was left to face a Wildcat offense that took shot after shot on her team’s goal. In the end, Arizona attempted a team-high 20 shots.
Grust ended up feeling a bit of her fellow keeper’s pain in minute 53. Iliana Hocking sent a pass to Olivia Briede, who had shaken off her marker a moment before. A low shot beat Grust to double the lead.
Colorado’s best chance in the closing minutes of the match. Phoenix Miranda took a low shot on Arizona keeper Hope Hisey that forced her to dive. She was up to the task, and Colorado ended the match with no goals.
It was a spectacular save, and one of only a handful that she was forced to make in the game. Colorado’s offense has been prolific. The Buffs have averaged 16 shots a game and have even posted multiple goals in losing efforts. In this match, they were limited to a scant six shots, only three of which troubled Hisey. They didn’t even earn a corner kick.
Much of Colorado’s problem was that they didn’t see a lot of the ball. More importantly, Arizona’s defense was well organized and limited opportunities. They kept things to the basics.
“We just kept our marks and stepped to the ball,” said Briede after the match. “You just work together as a team”
Coach Becca Moros noted improvements on the back line. The team has only allowed one goal in the last three matches.
“Our defensive work rate, our organization has gotten better over the last four or five games,” she said. “It’s made it hard for teams to get into a rhythm.”
The team has no Sunday match this week and next travels to the Evergreen State to take on Washington on Thursday and Washington State on Sunday.