By Ross Hammonds
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday October 29, 2002
The youth and inexperience roller-coaster season continued for the Arizona soccer team last weekend when their track took them through the Oregon schools.
Taking the field against Oregon State (8-7-2, 1-5-0 Pac-10) on Sunday proved to be a lot more Beaver than Arizona (5-9-1) wanted, falling 5-0. It took a mere 18 minutes for UA to be down 2-0 after two goals from Beaver scoring leader junior Courtney Carter (8 goals). Adding another goal from OSU's Whitney Horn, the Wildcats were down 3-0 in the first half, losing the shots battle as well 13-4.
Oregon State head coach Steve Fennah was not surprised with his team's performance in the victory. The shutout marks the sixth of the Beavers' season, OSU's most shutouts since 1995.
"We didn't play any different (Sunday) then we have the last couple of games," Fennah said. "It was a good team performance and we finished our chances well."
After the half the scoreboard was silent until the 78th minute as Brianna Monka was assisted on a cross pass from Katie Henderson that found the back of the net. Monka later assisted Henderson in the 83rd minute when she beat freshman Amanda Martin. Henderson had three assists and one goal that day.
Freshman Natalie Juarez played 82 minutes in the net for the Wildcats, collecting four saves, and Martin played the final eight minutes gathering one save.
On Friday the Wildcats let the game slip away against the Oregon Ducks (2-10-1, 1-4-1 Pac-10) in Eugene after giving up three unanswered goals following a 2-0 lead early in the second half.
"This was a tremendous test of our character," Oregon head coach Bill Steffen said after his team's win on Friday. "We've been battling all year, our players showed that today and it proved the difference."
Against the Ducks the two schools played to a tie in the first half with Oregon out-shooting UA 4-2. In the second half, Arizona came out of the gate strong. Red shirt freshman Kelly Nelson broke the goose-egg and tied the school record for goals in a season with 11.
Nelson struck from ten yards left of the goal into an empty net. The Duck goalkeeper had come out of the box to stop a pass from junior Lindsey Greenwood but Nelson sidestepped her and scored. Greenwood was credited with the assist in the 47th minute.
At 55:58 senior Naomi Chu headed in goal number two when freshman Althea Jones passed to freshman Jennifer Klein who sent the ball toward the net. Both were recognized with an assist.
"Naomi (Chu) was, without a doubt, the best player on the field tonight," Arizona head coach Cathy Klein said. "She just played her heart out."
The 2-0 Arizona lead only lasted seventeen minutes until Oregon tied the game after taking the momentum back.
In the 67th minute Oregon senior Sarah Denner curled a header past Juarez, who played the entire game in net for UA, to halve the Wildcat lead to 2-1.
Seven minutes after that, the game was tied when Sarah Tuttle made her first goal of the evening. Eight minutes later, she scored the game winner.
"We fought tooth and nail the whole way," Steffen said.
The Ducks out-shot the Wildcats 11 to 6 on the day with each team racking up 13 fouls.
"We didn't bring out the best stuff today," said Klein.
The Wildcats reached a high point on Friday night when they scored two goals, giving them 31 on the season, a new Arizona school record. Nelson is also one goal away from recording a new single season scoring record.
The Wildcats make their final home stand of the season next weekend against Washington on Friday at 7 p.m. and Washington State on Sunday at noon.