TUCSON, Ariz. ?- In the second game of the Four Points University Plaza Arizona Soccer Classic, the 22nd-ranked Arizona women’s soccer team (4-1-1) handed No. 25 Utah (6-1) its first loss of the season with an overtime goal by senior Mallory Miller.
The Wildcats and the Utes battled through the first half with each side having its opportunities. Each team had five shots in the first half, but neither was able to put a score on the board.
In the second half, the scoreless play continued with a physical battle on both sides of the ball.
In the 67th minute, Head Coach Dan Tobias received a red card and was ejected from the game.
After two periods of regulation play, the Wildcats and Utes came onto the field for sudden-victory overtime. After many opportunities for both sides, Arizona sophomore Kaity Heath played the ball into the box. Senior Mallory Miller received the rebound from Heath’s kick and placed the ball directly on goal. Ute goalie Ashley Mason saved the shot, but allowed a rebound that Miller placed into the back of the net for the Wildcat victory.
Miller leads the Wildcats in goals scored on the season with five.
With six saves on the night, sophomore goalkeeper McCall Smith earned her fourth shutout of the season. In only her second season as a collegiate player, Smith owns the school record for most shutouts with 15.
The last time the Wildcats won in overtime was on Oct. 15, 2004 when Arizona defeated Pac-10 foe Stanford in double overtime, 1-0.
Head Coach Dan Tobias talked about the support of the coaching staff on the bench after the red card in the second half.
“First and foremost I had to congratulate the team on the game and the win,” Tobias explained. “I apologized and said that wouldn’t happen again. It is a great feeling to know that if I’m not around I have two great assistant coaches, basically three head coaches. I knew we would be fine. The team understood that as well. I knew they had what it took to win.”
Tobias also discussed the physical play.
“We had problems with possession in the first half,” Tobias said. “We had a hard time keeping up with the physical presence of Utah. I thought both sides had some good chances and both goalkeepers made some great saves.”
The Wildcats will next take on New Mexico.
“They are a very good team,” Tobias said. “They are very good defensively and get good touches on the ball across the field. It is going to be a tough game.”
The New Mexico Lobos (2-2-2) lost to Cal-State Fullerton (5-2-0) by a score of 2-0 in the first game of the Four Points University Plaza Arizona Soccer Classic.
Games three and four will take place on Sunday, Sept. 18. Cal State-Fullerton will take on Utah at 10 a.m., followed by Arizona versus New Mexico at 12:30 p.m.
1 2 OT F
Utah 0 0 0 0
Arizona 0 0 1 1
Arizona ?- Mallory Miller