Arizona Wildcats Soccer
Cats fall in another shut-out
Half-time changes improve performance, but fail to give Arizona the win
The University of Arizona Wildcats dropped another game Sunday, this time to the Washington State Cougars. A change in the team's strategy at half time gave some hope for fans, but the team couldn't come back from the two-goal deficit they earned in the first half.
Wildcat defenders fought off charges from Washington State, but failed to clear the ball and break up the Cougar attack. Finally, in the 22nd minute, a Washington shot was saved by the post, but Cougar forward Tiara Pittman was able to get control of the ball and get it past Ashley Jett.
The goal resulted in the only moment of controversy in the match. Some Wildcat players claimed that the ball had passed the endline and bounced back into the playing area. Although the goal looked questionable, the referee let it stand.
Washington State scored their second goal only minutes later after Jett had punched the ball away and the Cats were unable to clear it.
The team needed a change at the half. Shannon Heinzler played in the first half as a defender but was moved into the offense, and Mykaylin Rosenquist was brought on in what was hoped to be a more stable four-person back line.
To some extent it worked. Washington State's offensive production was off in the second half and Arizona was able to generate more shots on goal. Even the normally defensive-minded Rosenquist tallied a shot at the goal.
The Cats were still unable to score, and the game ended with Washington State players and their rather sizable traveling fan contingent with smiles on their faces.
After the game, Coach Lisa Oyen talked about the changes that the team made at half time.
"Heinz has been a great utility player and we wanted to get her involved in the attack. Mykaylin has given us some good minutes and we felt like she was ready to get back into the mix."
Heinzler didn't record a shot, but moving her to join the three person front line allowed the team as a whole to record six shots in the second half.
Defender Kristyn Magyar missed several games after an injury sustained against South Carolina back in August. Magyar, a junior, played a full 90 minutes Sunday, and is happy to be back.
"It's been taping up my ankle. It's been rough. I've been getting through it because of my passion for the game," she said.
Like all the players, Magyar was disappointed in Sunday's loss. But, like all good Arizona athletes since 1899, she and her teammates know what the important game is.
"We're all looking forward to ASU."
The team plays Arizona State University on Friday nighy at 7 p.m. at Mulcahy Stadium, 2300 E 15th St.