TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The 22-ranked University of Arizona women’s soccer team (5-2-2) defeated UC-Santa Barbara (5-5-0) for its fifth victory of the season. Senior Mallory Miller scored three goals to give her nine goals on the season.
In the first half of play, Arizona took the early lead at 13:16 with a goal by Miller off of an assist from sophomore Nicole Scheid. The Gauchos responded at 20:03 off of a score from Darci Gwartz. Miller scored at 37:11, with an assist by sophomore Claire Bodiya, to give the Wildcats back the lead. The Wildcats had 15 shot opportunities in the first 45 minutes of play.
The back-and-forth play continued into the second half. At 50:07, sophomore Nicole Scheid scored with an assist going to senior Kamaya Damwijk to give Arizona the two-goal lead. UCSB once again responded by scoring at 58:16 with a goal by Allie Kueny off of a pass from Katie Smith. The Gauchos then tied up the game with less than 15 minutes to play with a goal coming from a corner kick. With less than two minutes to play in regulation, Miller scored a the game-winning goal for the hat trick and the 4-3 Wildcat victory.
With her ninth game-winning goal in her career, fourth this season, Miller holds the program record in that record.
Head Coach Dan Tobias discussed the game.
“We usually don’t give up three goals like that,” Tobias said. “It was very uncharacteristic for us. I have to give credit to UCSB. We made three mistakes and they scored three goals.”
He also discussed the play of Miller.
“She continues to do what is needed each day for us,” explained Tobias. “Tonight, we needed one more goal and she got it for us. Her assertiveness really shows on the field. She comes to play like each game is her last.”
The Wildcats will next take on BYU.
“BYU has played great in their non-conference games,” said Tobias. “They are another quality team on our schedule and there is a reason for that. We strengthened our non-conference schedule to prepare for the Pac-10. The Pac-10 is tougher this year and so we needed to make our non-conference schedule tougher. We are looking forward to next week.”
Arizona will wrap up non-conference play at home on Saturday, Oct. 1. Kickoff against BYU is set for 7 p.m.