By Steve Fanucchi
Arizona Daily Wildcat
After losing two games in the Lanzera Classic in San Diego last week, the Arizona women's soccer team will face the Pepperdine Waves on Sunday for a non-conference match.
The Wildcats (5-7 overall, 1-4 in the Pacific 10 Conference) will take on the Waves (3-7-2) in the first game ever between the two teams at Pima Community College West's Aztec Field at 1 p.m.
"This past week we had off was great for us," head coach Lisa Fraser said. "We were able to get out and train really well, get back to the basics and do some of the things we needed to do tactically."
In the two games played last weekend against San Diego State and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, the Wildcats were outshot 49 to nine.
The five goals allowed in the loss against Cal Poly were the most given up this season, one short of the record of six, which Arizona gave up against San Francisco State and Michigan during its inaugural season last year.
Since the Oct. 5 game against Southern Cal, the Wildcats have scored seven goals, six of which have come from senior forward Christine Keeley. In the four-game span Keeley took over the team lead in all of the offensive categories. Going into the game against the Waves, Keeley has scored nine times in 41 shots on goal to go along with two assists and 20 points.
Of the six players who have scored this season, only two have more than one goal: Keeley and freshman Nicki Jones. Single goals have been scored by Jen Duran, Jillian Bressler, Cindy Halas and Gina Leverette.
"We were really down after last week, but we have picked ourselves up, practiced hard this week and are ready to play Pepperdine," Keeley said. "We have no excuses for last week. We just played really poorly and were not prepared."
The Waves are led by junior All-America candidate Jennifer Evans, who has scored 10 times on 30 shots on goal with two game-winners. The goalkeeping duties are split between Sumon Nicole and Dianna Prince. Nicole has allowed 16 goals in 28 shots and Prince has given up 14 goals in 54 shots.
"They're a good team even though their record does not show it," Fraser said. "They play tough teams and all the teams from California are good, so they definitely cannot be underestimated even with their record."
The Wildcats will have goalkeeper Jen Weibel in for her 13th consecutive start this year, although she has struggled as of late. Weibel had given up 29 goals through the first 12 games, 14 in her last four games. In her first year Weibel gave up 36 goals in 14 games. With a save percentage this year of .447, Weibel has struggled to get the .778 save percentage she had last year.
"She has been playing good, but when you have shots bulleted at you, you're going to have goals scored," Fraser said. "You can only do so much."
Senior captain Duran explained her reason for the poor offensive play the Wildcats have been producing lately.
"We had people last week that did not play very smart and they were not correcting well," she said. "We were so sick of playing bad. We are a good team, we just have not shown it yet."
With a much needed week off, the Wildcats will be home again, where they are a 2-2.
"Things are really good right now," Fraser said. "Practice has gotten everyone back together. They have been working really hard. We're ready to go out and play a good game."
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