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Raiders Upset Wildcats in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/13/2004
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Storrs, Conn. ?- The 13th-ranked University of Arizona women’s soccer team (15-6) fell to the Colgate Raiders (13-6-1) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament tonight, 1-0. The two teams battled through falling snow in Morrone Stadium.

 

As the two teams prepared for kick off, the biggest story was the ice and snow that blanketed the field. Despite the rough weather, the Wildcats came out strong with two chances within the first five minutes of the half. Both were shot high and wide.

 

Junior Mallory Miller had one of the best opportunities for the Cats in the fifth minute off of a pass from sophomore Erin Bevacqua. She headed the pass towards the upper corner, but the ball sailed just over the crossbar. 

 

Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith was forced to make two key saves in the 13th and 15th minutes to keep the game at a scoreless tie. 

 

The Raider offense continued to pressure the Wildcat defense and eventually found the back of a net off of a scramble in front of Smith. Megan Bergman managed to control the ball long enough to place it in the net behind Smith to give the Raiders the 1-0 lead.

 

Freshman defender Kaity Heath took a series of free kicks late in the first half, but the Wildcats were unable to place the ball in the back of the net.

 

Senior Candice Wilks looked to score for Arizona with less than 10 seconds remaining in the first half when she shot the ball at the Raider goalkeeper Luisa Miller. The ball was deflected off of a Wildcat and sent out of bounds for a Raider goal kick and the end of the first half.

 

The Raiders got the first offensive opportunity of the second half with a corner kick at 47:50, but junior Jennifer Klein quickly cleared out the ball.

 

The Wildcats had their first corner kick of the second half at 53:16 but the ball was cleared out by the Raider defense.

 

Arizona and Colgate continued to battle throughout the second half, with neither team able to generate many scoring opportunities resulting in a 1-0 final score.

 

With the loss, the most successful season in the history of the program came to an end. The Wildcats finished the 2004 season with a 15-6 overall record, a 6-3 conference mark, and a share of the Pac-10 title.

 

###

 


 

GAME SUMMARY

 

                                1                                2                                F
Colgate                     1                                0                                1                                                                                             

Arizona                    0                                0                                0                                                             

 

Scoring

 

Colgate ?- Megan Bergman (Carolyn Warhaftig)

 


Shots:
Arizona ?- 12; Colgate ?- 8 

Corner Kicks: Arizona ?- 4; Colgate ?- 5

Fouls: Arizona ?- 10; Colgate ?- 6

GK Saves: Arizona ?- 3 (Smith 3); Colgate ?- 5 Miller (5)

Attendance: 284

Records:  Arizona 15-6; Colgate 14-6-1

 

Coach and Player Quotes:

 

Head Coach Dan Tobias Quotes:

Opening Statement

“We’re excited to be in the NCAA Tournament. We had a great season and we were honored to be one of the seeded teams out here. I think we were disappointed in the result and the fact that we didn’t perform to our capability. The credit goes to the Colgate team that just kept fighting and fighting and they got themselves a goal in the first half. Sometimes getting the first goal makes all the difference, especially in tournament play. I congratulate their players and their staff and we wish them the best in the rest of the tournament.”

 

It’s really hard to set a game plan in these type of conditions, what was your strategy coming in?

“We had only talked about doing a better job in the attacking third of controlling the ball. We talked about making sure that the passes would be finishable. I felt like we had some pretty decent chances in the first half that we would normally put away, but we didn’t. In the last 10 seconds it looked like we would have gotten the equalizer. I wish we could have kept the first half going because I felt like we would have equalized from there. All you can do is deal with the conditions and do the best that you can. As I said to the team after the game, I’m proud of them and I’m proud to be their coach and I thought they did a good job today.”

 

Looking back to August, did you guys ever think you would be able to accomplish so much in one season with the NCAA Tournament appearance and the winning record?

“I’ve only had this job for two seasons and since I’ve been here these two sitting next to me (Klein and Wilks) have been everything I could have imagined, times 5000. Their determination, work ethic and attitude on the field, off the field and in the classroom have been awesome. The great thing for the four seniors this year is that we not only made the tournament, but we also won the Pac-10. I think a lot of people didn’t think that was possible, or if they did, they didn’t think it was possible in 2004. The reason for that is people like Jenn and Candice. I’m happy that they were able to have that experience. I’m disappointed for them that the NCAA Tournament wasn’t a longer one because they deserved a longer one.”

 

What was it like to be able to coach athletes like Candice and some of the other seniors and have two years with them?

“I think the best way to describe it is that I’m honored to have those two seasons with them, but I’m almost bitter that I only got the two seasons. They weren’t players that I recruited, but they are players that I would recruit with any program. I think the time that you spend with the players, on the field and off the field and the traveling. The experience of the tournament and the result is one thing. But I think the journey to get here and the time spent with the team is something that they will be able to walk away with. I give credit to the work that the team has put in and they are some of the finest student-athletes I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching.”

 

Junior Tri-Captain Midfielder Jennifer Klein:

What was the discussion prior to the game about the snowy conditions?

“We weren’t going to let the snow be a factor. We came into this weekend knowing that it was going to be cold and that there would be a chance for bad weather. We dealt with it and got warm clothes on and we weren’t too bad, the weather wasn’t a factor.”

 

Looking back to August, did you guys ever think you would be able to accomplish so much in one season with the NCAA Tournament appearance and the winning record?

“Our team goal at the beginning of August was to make it to the tournament this year. Our focus was to take it game-by-game and that’s what we did. We accomplished our goal, but our team is not satisfied. We got here, but we are not satisfied. We want more.”

 

Senior Forward Candice Wilks:

You were able to show your skills, even on a slushy field, did you ever really get the opportunity you were looking for?

“I think at the end of the first half I had a pretty good chance that I wish I would have finished. It would have been nice to have a few more, but that was the main one.

 

Looking back to August, did you guys ever think you would be able to accomplish so much in one season with the NCAA Tournament appearance and the winning record?

“From day one here at the University of Arizona the team, in general, has had an attitude of persistence and going out there and working hard. I felt like it would happen eventually, it was just a matter of time.”

 

What will you take out of this experience?

“This has been a wonderful experience and I will never forget it.”

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