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Get thee behind me, Satan: Arizona soccer travels to Tempe to face Sun Devils

UA Wildcat soccer

Get thee behind me, Satan: Arizona soccer travels to Tempe to face Sun Devils

Hisey to come back for a fifth year

  • Arizona's Iliana Hocking deftly takes the ball from ASU's Nicole Douglas with a slide tackle in a match in March 2021
    Josh Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comArizona's Iliana Hocking deftly takes the ball from ASU's Nicole Douglas with a slide tackle in a match in March 2021

No matter what the sport, the Arizona - Arizona State match is circled on both teams’ calendars. Yes, they call it a rivalry, one of the better in the country sports fans in our corner of the world will argue. Emotions are high and that season’s record is out the window. Either team could win. In the case of soccer, however, it’s been a while since ASU has had a win.

The last time ASU won, Barack Obama was president and “Uptown Funk” ruled the airwaves. Hayley Estopare scored the lone goal for Arizona in a disappointing 4-1 result in 2015.

It’s been all Arizona since then. In seven straight contests, which included a home and away series in 2020, the Wildcats have outscored ASU 10-2.

Coach Becca Moros, however, knows not to count on that history.

“I know you only have a winning streak until that one game snaps it,” she said. “But, we’re aware that luck has fallen for us over the years.”

ASU has been distinctly low octane in many of those previous seasons, but this year they’ve played to a 8-5-3 record. Much of that has come because of scoring ace Nicole Douglas, who scored a remarkable 4 goals against Oregon last Thursday.

The last time anyone on a PAC-12 team did that was in 2019, when it happened twice. Catarina Marcario, who played for Stanford and currently plies her trade for Olimpique Lyonnaise, scored four against Prairie View A&M that year. Washington State and Portland Thorns forward Morgan Weaver put up four against Colorado in a PAC-12 match that November.

Last week’s scoring run, which included a penalty kick against Oregon State on Sunday, put Douglas at 60 goals in her career at ASU, a team record.

“We’ll be talking about her in our scouting report... obviously she’s good at a lot of things,” Moros said. “She’ll be a handful and somebody we will be really looking to close down.

Don’t look at any major changes in tactics, Moros noted. For fans, this will be a chance to see a team that plays a lot like Arizona.

“They are a possession based team. They have some savvy players. They think quickly,” she said. “There are a number of similarities in the philosophies and styles of the teams…formation wise, we match up exactly with them.”

The match is in Tempe on Friday at 7 p.m..

Hope-ful for 2023

One announcement that delighted fans this week was that goalkeeper Hope Hisey would be staying for a fifth year. The word was spread was made on Arizona’s BearDown Podcast. The NCAA’s COVID rules allow players to opt for a fifth season.

Hisey came up through FC Tucson and has been for several years a fixture on that organization’s WPSL team. She also earned honors for her Canyon Del Oro Dorados varsity team.

More importantly for Arizona, she has been a solid keeper for the team. She’s earned PAC-12 Goalkeeper of the Week three times, including for her performance against the Oregon schools last weekend. Arizona’s wins against PAC-12 schools have included three shutouts, all credited to Hisey’s work between the pipes.

“I think it’s huge. She’s a big leader for us, and she’s very caring,” said Moros. “Having someone like that committed to coming back and feeling like you’re going to be able to play with them for another year is exciting for returning players too.”

Hisey said that she had made the decision last season to come back for a fifth year. She let her teammates know earlier this year.

“Ultimately, what it came down to is I want to be part of what we are trying to build here,” Hisey said. “This is a great opportunity for us to continue growing.”

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