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Friday October 27, 2000

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UA drops close game to ASU

By Audrey DeAnda

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Soccer team loses hard-fought 3-1 game in Tempe

TEMPE-The UA soccer team suffered a 3-1 heartbreaking loss last night against Arizona State University up the road in Tempe.

But what might seem like just another loss for the Wildcats, who fell to 3-12-2 on the season, was a pivotal moment for the program, UA head coach Cathy Klein said.

"This is the first time I have felt that as a program, that being competitive against a very good team was not enough," Klein said. "Against Stanford it was enough, against Cal it was enough, against Washington it was enough. But now, it's 'this was not enough, we should have won.'"

The Wildcats racked up 16 fouls in this highly emotional, intense match against the in-state rival.

Though Arizona appeared to get off to a shaky start, UA freshman midfielder Sierra Cristiano helped settle some nerves as she put the Wildcats on top early when she scored in the 29th minute of the match. The goal was Cristiano's first of her career.

The Sun Devils would respond six minutes later when ASU junior midfielder Antoinette Marjanovic dribbled through the UA defense and scored in the 34th minute to tie the match at 1-1.

ASU took over offensively after the half. Sun Devil freshman midfielder Emily Schwimmer put ASU ahead 2-1 when she scored in the 70th minute. The Wildcats put their defense forward in the last few minutes of the game to try to generate a tying goal, but ended up getting scored on by ASU sophomore forward Holly Cohen in the 80th minute.

Cohen's goal would cap off the 3-1 victory for the Sun Devils. UA junior forward Kristi Lorona said the Cristiano's early goal helped the Wildcats get pumped up, but mental lapses caused the Sun Devils to come back.

"We were fired up but we have one break down and they score," Lorona said. "We need to learn to keep dominating and not make those mistakes."

Lorona said she felt the team did not get outplayed.

"Basically we had chances to score goals and we didn't capitalize," Lorona said. "That's been a problem for us all season, not capitalizing."

The Wildcats appeared timid at the beginning of each half, a factor that Lorona attributed to the team's nerves.

"The beginnings of the half we were just nervous and it took awhile for us to get settled," Lorona said. "It's ASU, they're our rivals, we've never beaten them and all our seniors wanted to win, we wanted to win. It's just a heartbreaking loss."

The Sun Devils applied great pressure to the Wildcats during the second half, as t they put 16 shots on goal. Arizona State outshot UA 19-6 in the game.

UA junior goalkeeper Shannon Monti played the first half in the net for the Wildcats, getting one save. UA senior Inger Airheart took over in the net during the second half, making seven saves as she caught most of the Sun Devils' heat.

"It was really an intense game because it was so close and there was such the opportunity; we were given the chances to win the game," Airheart said.

Airheart was in tears after failing to notch a win against ASU during her four seasons as a Wildcat.

"There's just so much emotion every time we play ASU," Airheart said. "It just hurts because we had such a good opportunity to win. We haven't beaten them yet and tonight was the closest that we've come in my four years."

Overall, Klein was pleased with the team's effort.

"We stuck to the game plan and I thought we left everything out on the field," Klein said.

Klein said the Wildcats' had opportunities to score, despite only having six shots in the game.

"(Freshman forward) Liz Bartlett had a chance to win the game there at the end and she didn't. She's obviously not ready for that," Klein said. "She's had chances to tie or win all of those Pac-10 game and again she's just not ready for that challenge, but she will be."

The win improved Arizona State's record to 12-5-0 for the season. The Wildcats will now take a break from Pac-10 play as they head home to face No. 13 Brigham Young tomorrow night. Klein is ready for the Cougars.

"BYU's the best team on our schedule. It's another opportunity for us to grow," Klein said. "Win, lose or draw, we better leave it all on the field, we better play smart, give it everything we've got and I'll take the result."