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Soccer focuses, reloads to take on Cal Poly Sunday

Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Jennifer Klein looks to pass away from Mizzou's Amber Swinehart during the home opener for the Arizona soccer team. No. 18 Arizona defeated Mizzou 2-0 with two goals from senior Mallory Miller.
By Amanda Branam
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 2, 2005
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After a disappointing 3-1 loss Sunday to Pepperdine, members of the Arizona women's soccer team said they are so hungry to redeem themselves that they almost feel bad for who has to face them next. Almost.

"If I were the next team we were playing, I'd be scared because we have a lot of making up to do," said sophomore defender Claire Bodiya.

The Wildcats (1-1) look to get their first road win of the young 2005 season Sunday against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (2-0) at 5 p.m.

Cal Poly's program is one Arizona head coach Dan Tobias is familiar with. He played in the midfield for the Mustangs from 1983 to 1987 and was an assistant coach under current Cal Poly head coach Alex Crozier from 1994 to 1997.

While Tobias was on staff at San Luis Obispo, the Mustangs had an overall record of 56-21-4, including a Big West Conference championship in 1997.

"It's great," Tobias said of facing his old team. "It's one of the first games I put on the schedule when I got here."

The Mustangs are led by junior forward Sharon Day, who has two goals this season, one in each of the two games they have played thus far. She led the team in scoring with 11 goals in 2004. Junior forward Becky Clark finished second in scoring with three goals last season, as no one else on the team scored more than two.

The Mustangs return just one starter - senior Sierra Simmons - from a staunch defense in 2004 that allowed an average of 0.59 goals per game. They allowed only 12 goals on the year, one more than the Wildcats. In the net, the Mustangs split duties between two sophomores, Alli Tramel and Jessica Murray.

Against the Waves, the Wildcats seemed to get complacent after scoring first midway through the opening half. Tobias and his players said the problems are very fixable for Sunday.

"We spent far too much time chasing and playing defense," he said.

The Wildcats hope the Mustangs will be doing all the chasing, especially in pursuit of forward Mallory Miller. Miller leads the Wildcats in scoring with two goals so far, both coming in less than a minute in the team's Aug. 26 home opener against Missouri. Miller has yet to get an assist this season, but if she can set up just one goal she will become the all-time assist leader in Arizona history. Miller led the team in assists last season with nine.

The Wildcats may be without sophomore forward Sally Thurner for Sunday's game. Thurner went down in practice yesterday with a left knee injury. It is not known how serious the injury was.

This weekend's game is the second of a four-game, three-weekend road swing that ends Sept. 10 after the Princeton Tournament in Princeton, N.J.

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