The Arizona soccer team has had no shortage of exciting moments this season, and since their next game isn’t until Saturday, this is a good time to re-live some of those moments.
Here are UA’s best goals of the 2018 season so far. We will make a new list at the end of the season.
Jill Aguilera’s ‘unbelievable’ golden goal vs. Utah
The context: The sheer degree of difficulty on this goal is insane, considering the distance of the shot and the effort needed to create enough space to get it off. But the circumstances make it even better. There were less than two minutes left in double overtime and if Arizona doesn’t score, they likely draw at home to a Utah team that is one of the worst in the Pac-12 — a potentially disastrous result come Selection Monday. Instead, UA won 2-1. And who scored Arizona’s first goal? Aguilera. It was quite the night for the redshirt sophomore.
They said it: “That was unbelievable. What a strike. She has the ability to do that and she got it on her left foot and just stepped into and hit it. I just saw it again on a replay and it’s even more impressive when you see it a second time. I’m really happy for her to have a moment like that. You don’t forget those moments. What a goal and I think that will carry her forward.” — Arizona head coach Tony Amato
“It’s kind of a blur now, but it was pretty crazy. Before the game, (Tony) always tells me broad things that he wants me to do. But this specific game he wanted me to be able to dribble the ball and take people on, beat people and I really took that to heart.” — Aguilera
Emily Knous’ goals vs. Baylor
Because words can't do it justice, here's a video of the goal pic.twitter.com/Mbs8kfRb51— Arizona Soccer (@ArizonaSoccer) September 9, 2018
The context: Knous, a freshman who enrolled early, scored the first goal and the game-winner in a win against Baylor. The Bears, currently ranked 21st, are one of the hottest teams in college soccer right now, so Arizona’s win over them has proven to be a major boost for their RPI. The pair of goals also showed why Knous was so highly-regarded when she entered the program. The midfielder has started every game this year, and her performance against Baylor landed her a spot on TopDrawerSoccer’s National Team of the Week.
They said it: “The first (goal) was a great team effort. It was ‘bing, bing, bing’ and it finished out the way we wanted it to. The second one I took a chance and I hit it well. They were two really good goals and I think they were well-deserving for the team, and it was a team effort from start to finish.” — Knous
Jada Talley’s goal vs. Colorado
Jada Talley with a remarkable run and finish for her sixth goal of the season! pic.twitter.com/vJ4XzRjwbC— Arizona Soccer (@ArizonaSoccer) September 30, 2018
The context: Talley is most known for her speed, but in this case she showed she’s a capable striker, too. It wound up being UA’s lone goal in a 1-1 draw against a Colorado team that is still unbeaten. It was also Talley’s sixth goal of the season, a team-high.
They said it: “I just won it right in front of our bench and I know once you win it and you’re on a center back it’s 1-v-1. There’s only one other person back there, so you know you only have one more to beat. I just took it inside and I heard Tony saying ‘1-v-1’ and I was like, ‘gosh.’ And I actually dribbled it into her, so I was like ‘I have to go for that far post now,’ but it went in, so we’re solid.” — Talley
Jill Aguilera’s game-winner at UC Irvine
The context: Aguilera’s 71st-minute goal broke a scoreless tie and proved to be the game-winner in what was a must-win game for the Wildcats, since they were coming off a season-opening loss to Albany. It was also Aguilera’s first goal of the season and evidence of the improvement she made from her freshman year, when she struggled to finish at times. But Aguilera has four goals this season, twice as many as she scored last season.
They said it: “She has a nasty left foot and we focused on making sure she got it on her left foot and had a plan in front of goal. It was all about that.” — Amato
“That goal proved that I have been working on that (finishing with my left foot) and I improved on it.” — Aguilera
Brooke Wilson’s first career goal
Let’s not overlook the quality of Brooke Wilson’s goal last night pic.twitter.com/eU98xmGn6l— Arizona Soccer (@ArizonaSoccer) August 27, 2018
The context: This goal wasn’t super important since Arizona was already beating Houston Baptist 4-0, but Wilson flashed the skill set that made her Arizona’s highest-ranked recruit ever. It was her first career goal, and she would score two more not too long after her first. Unfortunately, Wilson broke her leg in mid-September and could be out for the rest of the season. Still, she will be a force for the Wildcats for years to come.
They said it: “She’s fast, she can stretch the field, but she can also control the ball. You saw that goal. It was a 50-yard ball, she brings it down on her chest, and volleys it into the goal. She’s a great player that can do a lot for us.” — UA defender Morgan McGarry
“I was so excited, clearly by my celebration. Great feeling ever. My head was about to explode.” — Wilson
Taryn Siegele’s first career goal
The context: Siegele’s beautiful header sealed a 2-0 win over a Boise State team that is currently in first place in the Mountain West. Equally awesome: it was Siegele’s first career goal, which is no small feat considering her backstory. The junior walk-on tried out for the team as a freshman. Didn’t make it. Then she tried out again as a sophomore, made it, and now contributes off the bench.
They said it: “It’s a cool story, and she’s gotten better and better and she’s worked hard, and she played really well from the minute she went out there and scored a good goal and it was on the (Pac-12) Network and everything so you couldn’t be happier for her.” — Amato
“It was really exciting. There’s no words to describe it. ... I just remember sitting in the stands and wanting so badly to be on the field. That’s another reason why I tried out again, because I knew how badly I wanted it. So it’s really crazy to look back.” — Siegele