On a scorchingly hot Sunday morning approaching noon, the Arizona Wildcat's women's football (soccer) squad hosted the Utah State Aggies at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium for the final match in the Arizona Classic mini-tournament. Despite the American football team playing at Mississippi State the night before, leaving little in the realm of competition for spectators, the schedulers instead forced a kickoff at 11:30 am MST with a game-time temperature of 102 degrees F, eventually rising to 108. Before this match, Texas Tech held on to defeat Arizona State 1-0, those fans and players able to escape due to a 9 am kickoff.
With the players and fans all subjected to the brutal Arizona sunlight (yes, Mulcahy Soccer Stadium does not have any shade and all metal bleachers), both sides kicked off and played an incredibly even match. Twenty minutes into the match, the head referee called for a hydration break, one desperately needed as both sides used substitutes frequently to limit how long the players were out in the scorching sun. Both sides had quality opportunities, but both goalkeepers and defenses kept the score even at 0-0. It was a scoreless draw entering the half, however, Arizona’s Hope Hisey picked up her 307th career save in the process to move into sole possession of the 2nd most career saves in Arizona women’s football.
UArizona's Announcement of Hope Hisey's Accomplishment: https://www.instagram.com/p/CxBaeYlv31I/
The second half was more of the same, high temperatures and stiff defense keeping the offense to a minimum. In the 70th minute, the first and only booking of the match would occur as Utah State’s Alex Day took a yellow card in order to shut down a promising Arizona attack. The momentum was on Arizona’s side, however, as in the 76th minute, Nicole Dallin took the ball herself and beat Utah State’s Diera Walton with a wonderful long volley to pick up her sixth goal of the season and give Arizona a 1-0 lead.
Nicole Dallin's Goal: https://www.instagram.com/p/CxBl8GZSz58/?img_index=2
The Wildcats would successfully hold on, repelling multiple promising Aggie assaults to earn a hard-fought victory, their first win at home of the season.
Arizona finished the match with 13 shots, four on goal, with four corner kicks and a foul committed. Utah State on the other hand finished with nine shots, five on goal, with three corners and three fouls. This coming Saturday, the 16th, the Wildcats will be on the road to play Gonzaga in Spokane, Washington, before coming home on Friday the 22nd to host Pac-12 rivals Oregon. Now sitting at 3-1-3, the Wildcats sit in solid form to pick up a pair of victories going forward. Best of luck to our squad and bear down.