Tucson, Ariz. ?- On senior night at Murphey Stadium, the 18th ranked University of Arizona women’s soccer team (13-4-0 overall, 4-2-0 Pac-10) defeated Southern California (9-7-1 overall, 3-4-0 Pac-10) for its fourth win of the Pac-10 season. Senior Candice Wilks had two goals on the night, while fellow senior Vanesha Bailey had one.
The Wildcats and the Women of Troy battled through the beginning of the first half with each side having its opportunities. In the 34th minute, Wilks went one on one with the USC goalkeeper, Julie Peterson. Peterson tripped Wilks in the penalty box and gave Wilks the penalty kick at 33:16. She placed the kick in the lower left corner past Peterson to give the Cats the 1-0 lead.
In the second half of play, Bailey added to the Wildcat lead at 61:52 by taking a pass from junior Mallory Miller and placing it past Peterson. Wilks secured the Wildcat win with a goal less than three minutes later off of assists from Bailey and freshman Kaity Heath. The goal is Wilks’ sixth of the season and 22nd of her career, leaving her three goals from the school record of 25, which is held by Nikki Jones.
Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith had six saves on the night for her ninth shutout of the season. Only in her freshman season, the nine shutouts have tied Smith for the all-time school record for career shutouts.
Head Coach Tobias discussed the Wildcat’s 13th victory of the season.
“USC is such a dangerous attacking team,” he said. “They move forward well and have a great attacking presence. That can be tough to deal with and I think we did a good job.”
“It was great to go into the second half up 1-0,” he continued. “When you’re ahead, you know the other team has to push forward. We talked at halftime about making sure we came out well and played aggressive. We got two goals in less than three minutes and that third goal changed the entire game. The third one was important and helped us.”
All three goals were scored by seniors on senior night at Murphey Stadium. Tobias discussed the seniors’ contribution to the program.
“We were honoring the seniors and it was emotional,” he explained. “They’ve put their heart and souls into this season. They have put their stamp on this program, not just with their play today or this season, but with their play throughout their careers here at the U of A.”
The Wildcats will next take on No. 5 UCLA in their final home game of the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 1 p.m.
1 2 F
USC 0 0 0
Arizona 1 2 3
Arizona ?- Candice Wilks (Penalty Kick)
Arizona ?- Vanesha Bailey (Mallory Miller)Arizona ?- Candice Wilks (Kaity Heath, Vanesha Bailey)