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Cougars claw Wildcats in four-goal romp

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Arizona soccer

Cougars claw Wildcats in four-goal romp

'We took it on the chin,' says Amato

  • Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

It was their first home match after a long run of away games, but when the horn blew at Mulcahy Stadium on Friday afternoon Arizona’s women’s soccer team likely wanted to forget the whole thing. The Wildcats fell by a score of 4 – 0 to the Washington State Cougars.

“We took it on the chin; I’ll tell you that,” said coach Tony Amato after the match.

Washington State, currently ranked 8th in the PAC-12, got on the board first when a defensive error allowed Washington State’s Cara Wegner logged a goal in the 20th minute.

Even though the Wildcats saw themselves out attacked in the first half with five shots to Washington State’s nine, they still started the second half with realistic hopes for an equalizer.

Two set plays in the first 10 minutes of the second half dashed those hopes. Washington State’s Nicole Setterlund logged her fifth and sixth goals of the season off of set plays.

After that, Arizona found it near impossible to move the ball past the half line. Their few forays into WSU territory were broken up and became counterattacks. Washington State’s 67th goal was nearly superfluous as Arizona could find no way through the midfield.

The match leaves Arizona at six points with a 2-5-0 conference record. Sunday, they face Washington, ranked second in the conference. Kickoff is at noon at Mulcahy Stadium.

'Kind of a mess'

It wasn’t the best performance, and the players knew it.

“The team just didn’t bring it today,” said forward Kaitlyn Lopez. “We’ve been used to playing a certain way throughout the season, and today, we just didn’t bring it.”

Lopez was limited to a scant two shots on goal. Striking partner Jazmin Ponce, who won PAC-12 offensive player of the week honors for her two goals against USC last week, managed only one shot. Lopez attributes the trouble to communication.

“For some reason we were having a hard time connecting. The backs, the midfield, the forwards, it was all kind of a mess,” she said. “Up front, it was getting frustrating because we weren’t getting balls like we were used to. It was a frustrating performance over all.”

“They (Washington State) brought a lot more energy. They competed harder than us,” said coach Amato. “We know if we do not compete and battle and bring more energy than the other team, it’s going to be a long afternoon.”

The team doesn’t have much time to learn from their mistakes before they face a tough Washington team on Sunday.

“We have less than 48 hours to regroup and have things shored up,” Amato said. “It will be about the mentality more than anything.”


Lexe Selman, who is back on the team after winning her battle with leukemia, wears the number 13. Did she pick that number as part of some ironic statement about luck and what she’s been through? Nope.

“Thirteen was my club number because Steve Nash was my idol,” she said.

Of course, long time friends of Arizona athletics remember Nash as part of the Santa Clara team that knocked Arizona out of the NCAA basketball tournament in 1993. Nash has soccer connections too: he trains with the New York Red Bulls and he’s an investor in the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Arizona Wildcats v Washington State Cougars

Mulcahy Stadium

  • Scoring summary
  • WSU - Cara Wegner (20')
  • WSU - Nicole Setterlund (53')
  • WSU - Setterlund (56')
  • WSU - Mesa Owsley (67')
  • Misconduct summary
  • No cautions or ejections
  • Starting lineups
  • Arizona Wildcats: Gabby Kaufman - Sheaffer Skadsen, Alexa Montgomery, Shannon Heinzler - Ana-Maria Montoya, Brie Defelice, Hannah Stevens - Ali Doller, Kaitlyn Lopez, Jazmin Ponce, Haley Silverberg
  • Washington State Cougars: Gurveen Clair - Jamie Schnieders, Rachael Doyle, Katie Turney, Delaney Zalud - Kayla Johnson, Nicole Setterlund, Cara Wegner - Micaela Castain, Jocelyn Jeffers, Kourtney Guetlein

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