By Amanda Branam
CLAIRE LAURENCE/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Senior forward Vanesha Bailey fights for the ball during a UA victory earlier this season at Murphey Stadium. Arizona has won all three of its home matches this season.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, September 27, 2004
8-1 Cats slip past Weber State, 2-1
Only nine games into the 2004 season, this year's Arizona soccer squad is already battling for the title of best team in the program's history.
With their 2-1 win at Weber State (3-7) Saturday, the Wildcats moved to 8-1 on the season, tying them with the UA squad from 1997, who went 8-11-1 overall, the best season in UA history. If they win three more games out of the 12 remaining, the soccer team would have their first winning season in its 10-year history.
"What we're trying to do is much like the other teams at the UA. We are trying to establish a tradition; a successful tradition," said head coach Dan Tobias.
In the Wildcats' win, freshman midfielder Sarah Litt scored what was the eventual game-winning goal in the 63rd minute on an assist by sophomore midfielder Erin Bevacqua. Bevacqua moved the ball past a couple of Weber State players before passing off to Litt, who one-touched the pass in for the score.
Junior midfielder Nikki David scored the first goal of the game for the Wildcats, her fourth of the season and third in the last three games. David ran onto a pass from senior forward Candice Wilks, made a cut to get past the rushing Weber State goalkeeper and scored.
"We scored two of the nicer goals we have scored this year," Tobias said.
Weber State avoided being shut out in the 74th minute on a goal by freshman Naomi Felix.
The Wildcats' ability to get the early goal is an attribute Tobias sees as important to his team's success. However, as of late Tobias has been more impressed with their second-half play than their first-half. He does not see this developing into a problem, nor does he see his team as a "second-half" team.
"It's not a concern. Our focus is on us and on us to perform well on both sides of the ball," he said.
Offensively, the Wildcats have scored 11 first-half goals and 12 second-half goals. Defensively, they have given up just four goals in nine games, three in the first half, and one in the second half.
In last week's Soccer Buzz Magazine's rankings for the West region, the UA received votes. After going 2-0 on the weekend which included a tough road win over a quality BYU team, they might begin to turn even more heads.
"We're just going to keep working hard to get better," Tobias said. "The rankings mean the most at the end of the regular season and the final four."