By Steve Fanucchi
Arizona Daily Wildcat
After losing its first four Pacific 10 Conference games, the Arizona women's soccer team had a week off to prepare for this weekend's University of Arizona tournament.
The Wildcats, in their second season as a Division I soccer program, play today against Southern Cal at 7 p.m. and Sunday against Utah at 11 a.m. Today's game will be held at Udall Park, while the game against the Utes will be played at Pima Community College West's Aztec Field.
The Wildcats (3-5 overall, 0-4 in Pac-10) will face the Trojans (4-4, 1-1) in the first game of the tournament. Arizona is in last place in the conference while the Trojans are coming off a 1-0 win over Washington.
USC is on a two-game winning streak, as are the Utes. The Trojans lost to cross-town rival UCLA for their only Pac-10 loss this season, while the Wildcats are still looking for their first conference win. The Utes are 4-2-2 overall and have not lost a game since Sept. 8, their third game of the year. Utah is in its first season as a Division I soccer program.
The Wildcats' four-game losing streak is second only to last year's six-game slide. The only meeting between Arizona and USC was last year in Los Angeles, when the Trojans defeated the Wildcats 4-3 in overtime.
"We are excited about this weekend," UA head coach Lisa Fraser said. "USC is a game that is going to be competitive. Last year we lost a close game to them in overtime and we are looking forward to playing them again."
Freshman Nicki Jones leads the team in goals with five and is second on the team in shots on goal with 12. Jillian Bressler scored her first career goal in the Wildcats' 3-1 loss to Oregon State last week. Backup goalkeeper Annie Freund made her second appearance in goal for the Wildcats in the second half against OSU, tallying five saves and allowing no goals.
Leading the Trojans is Tara Koleski, who has started all nine games, amassing 45 shots on goal and scoring eight times with six assists. Laura Badagliacco has been constant in the goal for USC, grabbing 35 saves on 50 shots for a 1.68 goals-against average.
For Utah, freshman Yolanda Yrizarris leads the team in goals scored with four, despite having only 11 shots on goal. Sophomore Amanda Schmutz and junior Jacki Doman each have two assists to lead the team. The Utes are 2-0 when leading at the half and 2-0-1 when tied at the half.
"Utah is a first -year program so I do not know much about them," Fraser said. "Hopefully we can use our home-field advantage and get a win under our belts. We need to regain our confidence, come out and play hard this weekend."
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