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Game-winning shots haunt soccer in L.A.

Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Sophomore defender Claire Bodiya heads the ball away from Stanford’s Gina Farias-Eisner during Arizona’s win on Oct. 23 at Murphey Field at Lohse Stadium. The Wildcats lost their third consecutive game yesterday against USC, following losses to ASU on Oct. 29 and UCLA on Friday.
By Amanda Branam
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 7, 2005
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Soccer to learn of at-large bid status today

Los Angeles — For 88 minutes, 24 seconds against USC yesterday, the Arizona soccer team held U.S. national team member and USC freshman forward Amy Rodriguez scoreless.

Unfortunately for Arizona, soccer games last 90 minutes.

Rodriguez got a cross from midfielder Rosa Anna Tantillo, an under-20 national team member, and scored from about 10 yards out to defeat the Wildcats 1-0 yesterday.

“Rodriguez, she’s like a sniper,” said Arizona head coach Dan Tobias. “Give her one tiny little gap, and that will be all she needs.

“I thought for the most part we did a good job, held her in check, but there’s the one goal. That’s all it takes.”

The Wildcats (9-7-3, 4-4-1 Pacific 10 Conference) lost their third consecutive game by one goal, following losses to ASU on Oct. 29 and UCLA on Friday.

“They came away on top with no time left in the game just about, so it stung because it didn’t give us much chance to come back,” said senior forward Kelly Nelson, who may have played her last game in a Wildcat uniform.

The Wildcats and Southern California (12-5-2, 6-2-1) traded shots for most of the game, with no team holding more than a one-shot advantage.

In the last 15 minutes of the second half, however, USC seemed to play with more urgency, taking over in the shots category 11-6.

Before the goal by Rodriguez, Arizona sophomore goalkeeper McCall Smith punched a point-blank shot by Tantillo over the net and out of danger near the 55th minute.

Smith made four saves in her first game back in net after sitting out against the Bruins with a concussion that she suffered against the Sun Devils.

Just under 21 minutes into the second half, Arizona senior midfielder-forward Mallory Miller was inadvertently kicked in the head when a USC player and Miller tried to go for a ball.

The scuffle caused a small cut on Miller’s head, but she returned with just over 11 minutes left in the game.

Briefly taking her place in the midfield was sophomore Kaity Heath, who normally plays defense, but like Smith was sitting out because of a concussion suffered in the ASU game.

The first half ended in a scoreless tie, with the Wildcats taking three shots on goal to USC’s two.

The more dangerous of those two shots came just under two minutes in when forward Tina

Sutorius got past the Wildcat defense and crossed the ball onto a sliding Katy Boynton, who just missed the ball as it went out of bounds.

“We had some stretches where we got caught in transition, not tracking back defensively, ” Tobias said. “We can’t do that against anybody in our conference. … We got caught, especially in the midfield, not tracking back. That’s not just a midfield thing. That’s a team thing. That’s everybody.”

Just as disappointing for the Wildcats was Friday’s 2-1, double-overtime loss to the Bruins (17-1-2, 7-0-2).

With just over five minutes remaining in the second overtime, McCall Zerboni fired a shot that deflected off a Wildcat player in the box into the goal to end the game.

“Friday and (yesterday), you know you were the better team, but you don’t come out on top,” said sophomore defender Claire Bodiya. “Friday, a deflection — that’s not a way to lose — and (yesterday, with) a minute left, we just made a bad mistake.”

The UCLA game marked the first missed start for Smith since coming to Arizona. Freshman Chelsea McIntyre started in her place and recorded eight saves.

With the weekend losses, the Wildcats finished in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Pac-10 with Washington State and ASU. UCLA won the conference title with a 7-0-2 record.

Arizona will learn whether it has earned an at-large bid in the 2005 NCAA College Cup today at 3 p.m. The selection show will be broadcast on ESPN News.

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