Arizona Wildcats

Offense Makes a Splash in 3-3 Tie with Cal

(Tucson, AZ) Troy Hutchison

Saturday started out rainy conditions making the field conditions suspect. It was unclear if they were going to be able to play the game.

Magically, around 4:45 thirty minutes prior to game time, the rain and clouds went away.

Arizona was set to take on the Cal Golden Bears who came into Tucson with a record of (5-7-1).

Just like the weather,  the game started off sloppy with both teams sliding around the field trying to find their footing. Unfortunately for Arizona, it didn’t take long for Cal to find their footing with a goal in the 15th minute of the game.

With the weather, field conditions and the Cal goal you could see the life taken out of the fans early in the match. It would be long until Arizona was able to reenergize the mood in the stands with a goal in the 22nd minute from Amanda Porter to even the game at one all. Both teams would battle back a forth for most of the remainder of the period.

There was no momentum on either sideline. Arizona midfielder Kelcey Cavarra had a couple of rocket shots on goal that were unable to find the back of the net.

The already weird and wild game took a turn towards bizarre when Cal score their second goal of the match in the 41st minute. This wasn’t just another goal, Arizona’s goal-keeper Lainey Burdett seemed to be right on the high kick, yet somehow the ball went right through for a goal. Weather played a huge factor in that goal that looked to go through the goalkeeper’s hands.

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Coach Tony Amato said this about Burdett’s performance, “I’d have to watch the film to see the goal exactly, but it’s hard to judge her performance when I don’t think she recorded a save. But, anytime you give up three goals you’ve got to evaluate how you gave up those goals and we’ll do that”.

Despite having twelve shots to Cal’s four. The Wildcats would go into the locker room down 2-1 in what might have been the strangest periods we’ve seen all season. As the night went on the weather felt as if it was getting colder and colder with every passing minute.

The Wildcats needed to find a way to gain momentum quick coming out to play the 2nd period. But, they were unable to do 7so as the Golden Bears were the ones to come out right to play. Cal was able to capitalize on a penalty kick opportunity in the 47th minute putting them up 3-1. That was the 3rd Penalty Kick Arizona was gotten themselves into in the last three games.

In the moment that all seemed lost and that Arizona was about to drop their third straight game something changed. Arizona started to battle back in the game with a goal from Jada Talley in the 51st minute.

It was an impeccable pass from midfielder Emily Knous that set up the Talley’s scoring chance. This gave the Wildcats a much-needed spark for the first time in the game.

Although Arizona was able to cut the lead back down to one, the game dragged on with Arizona wasting scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity.

One area Arizona was been less than stellar in this season is corner kicks, yet with the strange flow of the game, that’s how Arizona finally were able to tie the game up.

Yes, it gets more bizarre. Arizona was able to tie the game but the goal in the 75th minute didn’t come from one of the players waiting in the box for the corner from defender Morgan McGarry. The ball went right over everyone and towards the goal and clear the finger tips of Cal’s goal-keeper for the Wildcats goal tying the game up at three all.

Arizona’s final goal of the match really fit how this game was with the weather and field conditions.

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Morgan McGarry talked about her third goal of the season, “Coach Paul was seeing what Cal was doing and what they were lined up as, and so he said just put the ball at the near post and see what happens. I was focused on executing the cross then everyone else did their roles, everyone made their runs challenging for the ball and one person did a great job of screening the goal-keeper and without that it wouldn’t have gone in the back of the net.”

The game went into double overtime where both teams were unable to put one ball in the goal and the game ended in a 3-3 draw. This was a very anticlimactic ending to a bizarre and thrilling game.

Even though Arizona was able to come back from a 3-1 deficit to tie, the Wildcats really needed a victory in this game.

Arizona has Washington and Washington State coming to Tucson next week for the final homestand of the season.



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