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News
Soccer to take on NAU in Flagstaff


Photo
CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Sophomore midfielder Mallory Miller breaks away from a Kent State player earlier in the month at Murphey Stadium.
By Brett Fera
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday September 12, 2003

Heading into Sunday's road contest at Northern Arizona, the Arizona soccer team doesn't have a whole lot it wants to change, save for one minor detail: the team is ready to get back into the win column.

"We felt like we played well enough," head coach Dan Tobias said about the Wildcats' (1-3) pair of losses last week to Arkansas and host Missouri at the Nike Tiger Invitational. "But its not how many chances we get, its about how many we actually convert."

Arizona managed to outshoot Missouri 13-11 last Sunday, but couldn't rebound after seeing the undefeated Tigers score on their first three shots of the game.

The Wildcats were handed a similar fate a day earlier, outshooting Arkansas 13-6 but narrowly falling to the Razorbacks, 2-1.

"The losses we had were unfortunate," said sophomore midfielder Lisa Kosena, who currently sits third on the team in scoring with a goal and an assist. "We dominated last week but we just have a few things to fine-tune on defense."

Much of the team's practice last night focused on reducing the number of defensive mistakes, and Tobias said he was happy with the team's progress.

"It's all about just being a little bit tighter," he said. "If we're going to lose the ball, we'd rather it be in the front third of the field instead of the back third."

The Wildcats, led by junior forward Candice Wilks and her team-leading three goals and six points, look to eliminate the defensive let-downs and earn their second win of the season Sunday in Flagstaff.

Arizona's opponent, the Lumberjacks of NAU, are 1-2-1 on the season, coming off two narrow losses to Nevada, 2-1 and Alabama, 1-0.

The last time the Lumberjacks and Wildcats squared off was during the 2000 season, when current NAU head coach Andre Luciano in his third year in Flagstaff was an assistant for the Wildcats. He roamed the UA sidelines for two seasons (1999-2000) before taking the job up north.

While Tobias said he is familiar with Luciano and the Lumberjack program, he said he is worried less about NAU and more about what Arizona can do heading into the match.

"Andre is a good friend of mine," said Arizona's first-year head coach. "They have a good team and we are aware of that, but more than anything we are just going to focus on what we can do to win the game."

According to Kosena, she and her teammates are willing to leave the scouting reports up to the coaching staff.

"The coaches know all about them," Kosena said. "But we only focus on what we need to do to play well."

The matchup marks the end of a three-game road trip for the Wildcats, as Kentucky and San Francisco head to Tucson next weekend.

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