Back on the field again

By Monty Phan

Arizona Daily Wildcat

After nearly a three-week hiatus, the Arizona women's soccer team takes the field again this weekend for a pair of home games.

The Wildcats (1-7) face Wisconsin-Milwaukee today at 2 p.m. and Loyola Marymount Sunday at noon, both at Pima Community College West's Aztec Field.

Coach Lisa Fraser expressed that although it was a little long, the break was put to good use, and the team is ready to end its five-game losing streak.

"I think it (the break) has helped a lot," Fraser said. "We ended on a really good note against USC. We played really well, took them into overtime. The game could've gone either way. They didn't dominate, we didn't dominate, it was a very equal game. So I think that was a good way to go into the three week (layoff). We've been off three weeks, that's a long time. But it's given us some time to work on things, to get everybody healthy again. So I think we're ready to compete."

Fraser said that, in her opinion, the team could've used a game in the middle of the break, but that overall, it used the extra practice time to its advantage.

"We look really good," she said. "They're excited to play, they're playing with a lot more intensity at practice, they're a lot more physical. I think those things came out of that last game against USC."

As far as the starting lineup is concerned, there may be some juggling going on as a result of the last game against Southern Cal.

"I'm looking at some new things right now, so we'll see come Friday," Fraser said. "There was a great performance from Jill Mewhirter against USC, so I see her getting a lot more playing time. And we're looking at some different things in the midfield area, so we'll see."

Like every team Arizona has faced this season, both opponents are established squads but then again, almost any team is established compared to the Wildcats' program, which is in its first season of Division I play.

"Wisconsin's a good program, they've been around for quite a while," Fraser said. "They're probably one of our strongest opponents this year. They're strong, they're physical, they've had a program for a while.

"Loyola Marymount had a transformation last year. They were a new program that had a lot of losses. It's going to be a good battle for us, because I think we've stepped up in that part of our game, being more physical. So it's going to be a good matchup."

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