Tucson, Ariz. ?- The 18th ranked University of Arizona women’s soccer team (14-4-0 overall, 5-2-0 Pac-10) upset No. 5 UCLA (12-6-0 overall, 5-3-0 Pac-10), 1-0. With their fifth win of the Pac-10 season, the Wildcats now sit atop the Pac-10 standings with one weekend of regular season play remaining.
The Wildcats had the first chance of the game in the fifth minute when freshman midfielder Nicole Scheid shot the ball towards the upper left corner of the net, but Bruin goalkeeper freshman Valerie Henderson made the save and then bobbled the ball. The Bruin defense cleared the ball behind Henderson to keep the game at 0-0. Junior midfielder Althea Jones registered the first goal of the game at 40:12 when she dribbled the ball from the Wildcats’ side of the field, through the midfield and through the Bruin defense to beat Henderson and give the Wildcats the 1-0 lead. Freshman Wildcat goalkeeper McCall Smith and Henderson tallied two saves each in the first half.
The Wildcats and the Bruins battled through a scoreless second half to give the Wildcats the 1-0 victory. The victory is the first for the Wildcats over the Bruins in the series history. UCLA had previously led the series 10-0-0.
Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith once again contributed to the record books with her 10th shutout in her young collegiate career. The 10 shutouts place her as the sole leader in the school record books for all-time shutouts.
Head Coach Dan Tobias discussed the Wildcats victory over the Bruins.
“I thought we came out strong in the first half,” he said. “We created some early chances. It is always good to get an early goal, or the first goal in the game, it makes a huge difference. We are aware of Althea’s ability to get in behind the defense and that goal showed that ability. It was a nice finish with less than five minutes left in the half.”
Tobias also discussed the Wildcat defense, which has limited its opponents to nine goals in seventeen games. The only game in which Arizona allowed its opponents to score more than one goal came early in the season on Sept. 10 against No. 16 West Virginia when they lost 2-0.
“We’ve shown that we are a tough team defensively,” Tobias said. “When we are organized, we are tough to deal with. We had some stretches when we were lose, but all teams do. I think we created good chances off of the defense and their keeper had to come up with some good saves.”
“UCLA is a good team,” Tobias continued. “This is a great case where a team like UCLA comes in here and we are an up and coming program trying to establish ourselves as a UCLA. We are excited and we will be ready to go next weekend at the Oregon schools.”
The Wildcats will next travel to Oregon to take on Oregon State at 12 p.m. PST on Friday Nov. 5, followed by Oregon at 1 p.m. PST on Sunday Nov. 7. The match against the Ducks will be the final of the regular season for the Wildcats.
1 2 F
UCLA 0 0 0
Arizona 1 0 0
Arizona ?- Althea Jones (unassisted)
Shots: Arizona ?- 11; UCLA - 9
Corner Kicks: Arizona ?- 4; UCLA ?- 5
Fouls: Arizona ?- 6; UCLA ?- 8
GK Saves: Arizona ?- 4 (Smith 4); UCLA ?- 3 (Henderson 3)Records: Arizona 14-4-0, 5-2-0; UCLA 12-6-0, 5-3-0