Tucson, Ariz. ?- The University of Arizona women’s soccer team (3-0-0, 0-0-0) competed in its first home game of the season as the host of the Arizona Invitational. The Wildcats scored midway through the first half and held on win, 1-0, over the UC-Irvine Anteaters (1-2-0, 0-0-0). The 3-0 start by the Wildcats marks the first time in the program’s history that the team has opened a season with three straight wins. The program earned another first thanks to freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith. This marks the first time the Wildcats have had three straight shutout wins.
Early in the first half neither team was able to put one in the back of the net. The game was scoreless until freshman Kaity Heath scored on a corner kick. Heath took the corner kick and placed it in the back of the net to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead going into halftime. Arizona had 17 shots in the first period, while UC-Irvine had six.
In the second half, both goalkeepers stood strong, as neither team was able to score. Arizona’s Smith had nine saves in the game, while UC-Irvine’s Marissa Welliver had 18 saves on the day.
The Wildcats once again relied on youth, as six of the 11 starters were freshmen. Claire Bodiya, Amanda Urtuzuastegui, Heath, Shaylyn Scott, Nicole Scheid and Smith were the six freshmen that started for Arizona.
Head Coach Dan Tobias felt UC-Irvine played a strong defensive game.
“UC-Irvine is such a strong and organized defensive team,” he said. “We were able to get numbers behind the ball and around the ball. We struggled to possess the ball early in the first half and that led to trouble getting good chances.”
Tobias liked the way the Wildcats started the second half of play.
“In the second half, we played a much tighter game defensively,” he said. “Being such a young team, we are learning how to close out the game.”
He also feels that making the best start in the program’s history shows the team is making progress.
“It is nice to get another first,” Tobias said. “I am pleased with the program’s progress and I feel we are still making progress. This team is determined to make good things happen.”
In the first game of the Arizona Invitational, Fairleigh Dickinson took out Buffalo, 3-1 to improve to 1-2 on the season. The Arizona Invitational will conclude on Sunday, Sept. 5 with Buffalo taking on UC-Irvine at 11 a.m. followed by Arizona against Fairleigh Dickinson at 1:30 p.m. All games will take place at Murphey Stadium at 15th Street and Plumer Ave. Admission is free.
1 2 F
UC-Irvine 0 0 0
Arizona 1 0 1
Arizona ?- Kaity Heath (unassisted)
Shots: Arizona ?- 29; UC-Irvine ?- 12
Corner Kicks: Arizona ?- 3; UC-Irvine ?- 1
Fouls: Arizona ?- 17; Iowa State ?- 18
GK Saves: Arizona ?- 9 (Smith 9); UC-Irvine?- 18 (Welliver 18)
Attendance: 811Records: Arizona 3-0-0, 0-0-0; UC-Irvine 1-2-0, 0-0-0