By Amanda Branam
Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Jennifer Klein gets away from Mizzou's Mo Redmond during the home opener for the Arizona soccer team last month. No. 18 Arizona defeated Mizzou 2-0 behind two goals from senior Mallory Miller.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 9, 2005
Senior midfielder Nikki David started her first game of the season for the Arizona women's soccer team against Princeton yesterday.
If she keeps being in the right place at the right time, she may force the coaching staff to leave her in the loop.
David finished with a goal and an assist to lead the Wildcats (2-1-1) to a 2-1 win over the Tigers in the Princeton Invitational.
"(Arizona assistant coach) Harold (Warren) said to me, 'She's a difference maker," said Wildcat head coach Dan Tobias of David. "(It's) just her presence in the attack. She's got speed and she's a tough player for people to match up with."
David's goal came in the 38th minute in the first half. Freshman forward Gianna DeSaverio hit a running David, who used her left foot to slip the ball into the lower left corner of the goal past Princeton keeper Emily Vogelzang.
The Tigers (0-3) came back early in the second half to even things up.
Senior forward Emily Behncke scored just over three minutes into the half with a left-footed shot that hit the far post and got past sophomore goalkeeper McCall Smith. Smith preserved the win late in the game when she deflected a volley over the crossbar.
Arizona vs. Penn
Tomorrow, 11:30 a.m., ESPNU
The Wildcats had some good chances to score through 30 minutes, Tobias said, but they weren't able to put them in.
Finally, with 15 minutes remaining, senior Mallory Miller - who played at midfielder instead of her usual forward position yesterday - shot a pass to David that split two Tiger players.
David slapped the ball to freshman forward London King, who scored the game-winner, her first goal as a Wildcat.
"The good thing was we scored a goal first, they got the equalizer and we never gave up," Tobias said. "Let me rephrase that: We kept fighting."
The Wildcats finish in the Princeton Tournament tomorrow with a match against Penn at 11:30 a.m. on ESPNU.
The Quakers lost nine seniors last season to graduation, but return three of their four players on the backline, including two-time first-team All-Ivy League defender senior Robin Watson.
Watson helps out on the other end of the field, as well. She scored three goals last season and added an assist. Two of her three goals came off of penalty kicks.
Penn won their first game of the season in a 2-1 win over Rider University on Sunday, with goals scored by senior forward Carolyn Cross and sophomore Rachel Fletcher. The Quakers outshot Rider 14-4.
The Wildcats found out this week that sophomore forward Sally Thurner will miss the rest of the season after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament last week in practice. She is the third Wildcat to suffer such an injury this year, with senior defender Althea Jones tearing her left ACL in spring practice and freshman Christina Hughes tearing her right ACL in mid-August.
Jones may return late in the season if her rehab goes well, but Hughes will be out for the season.