By Steve Fanucchi
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Coming home 3-1 from its season-opening road trip, the UA women's soccer team expected nothing less than to play competitively with UCLA on Saturday.
But two Bruin corner kicks in the first half contributed to two goals, as UCLA eventually won 3-1 and ended the Wildcats' three-game winning streak.
"We played really poor defensively in the first half and it is too bad it had to happen in our first home game," UA coach Lisa Fraser said.
The Wildcats, in their second season as a Division-I program, never recovered and the Bruins improved to 3-0-2, 1-0 in the Pacific 10 Conference, while Arizona fell to 3-2, 0-1 in the Pac-10.
But perhaps a bigger loss for the Wildcats came in the first half as senior forward Shannon Taylor got tangled up with a UCLA defensive player. Taylor left the game with a sprained right knee and never returned. Her status for the rest of the year is uncertain.
"The loss of Shannon hurts us a lot," Fraser said. "We need to get things back together for the next game."
UA came out and controlled the first 15 minutes of the game. Senior forward Christine Keeley broke away within the first few minutes but barely missed a shot wide left. Keeley has supplied the horsepower for the Wildcats this season, attempting 15 shots on goal.
The Bruins scored their first goal from the right side on a corner kick. Several Wildcat defenders had chances to clear the ball but Shannon Thomas kicked it in for UCLA.
At 26:32 of the first half another corner kick enabled the Bruins to grab a 2-0 lead. Traci Arkenberg controlled the kick by Louise Lieberman and launched a shot into the goal, past Jennifer Weibel, Arizona's goalie.
"The two goals they scored were mental lapses on our part and that cannot happen," Fraser said. "It is something we need to work on this week with our sports psychologist to correct it."
In the second half, the Wildcats created pressure right from the start. UA's only score of the game came from Keeley, who took a lob pass from Kelley Keve and turned it into a break-away goal at 55:05.
It was Keeley's third goal of the year, tying her with freshman Nicki Jones for the most goals this season.
"In the second half we adjusted to the 3-4-3 well, (but) in the first we played too conservatively Ÿ our midfielders were not marking up," Fraser said.
Read Next Article