The Arizona Wildcats have won six games in a row, their longest winning streak since 2004, but they will have to continue it without one of their best players.
Star freshman forward Brooke Wilson is out 4-5 weeks with a fractured leg, head coach Tony Amato said after practice Thursday. Wilson suffered the injury in training this week. The Wildcats hope she can return sometime this season. Redshirting is not an option since Wilson has appeared in more than 30 percent of Arizona’s games.
“It’s a non-weight bearing injury. You can usually bounce back from that depending if you’re a quick healer or not, so we should have her back at some point,” Amato said. “That’s our goal, but you never know how people heal.”
Wilson was the highest-ranked recruit in Arizona’s 2018 recruiting class, and has made an immediate impact as a dangerous striker. The Vista, California native has scored three goals this season, the third-most on the team. She made her second career start Sunday vs. Baylor and tallied an assist in the 3-1 victory.
“It’s a tough loss for all of us because she works so hard and she does well. And it’s not just working hard, she executes and scores,” said UA forward Jill Aguilera. “I know she wants to be out there on the field with us and the best thing we can do to show her how much she means to the team is to keep winning.”
Amato listed Aguilera, Hannah Clifford, Jada Talley, Amanda Porter and Iyana Zimmerman as players Arizona will be leaning on during Wilson’s absence.
“Brooke had three goals in non-conference, so from that standpoint you’ve got to have someone step up,” he said. “From the other standpoint, we’ve never played a conference game with her. We’ve had it before where Gabi (Stoian) carried a heavy load and then would miss stretches of games, and we haven’t had to do that with Brooke yet so we’ll be fine. I’d rather have her, but you know covering sports that this is part of what happens, and you hope you don’t get decimated by (injuries) and you hope other people step up.”
Arizona (6-1) wraps up non-conference play Friday at home against Cal State Fullerton (7 p.m., Pac-12 Networks). The Titans (3-3-1) made the NCAA Tournament last season.
Thank you for all of the positive energy/messages everyone has been sending my way. I am in good spirits and I am ready to start rehabbing. I will be arizona soccers biggest cheerleader guaranteed!! ❤️ ⬇️ https://t.co/tdfULd9CSi— BROOKE WILSON (@brookiiew231) September 14, 2018
Knous receives national recognition
Freshman midfielder Emily Knous was named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Team of the Week after she had two goals and an assist in the win vs. Baylor.
Knous, who enrolled early, is tied with Talley for the team lead in goals (4). Like Wilson, Knous was a highly-touted recruit out of Southern California. The Long Beach native has started every game this season, showing a nice combination of skill and athleticism.
“It’s been awesome,” Knous said after the Baylor game. “I grew up in a good club team so I had a good foundation, so the transition was pretty smooth and I’m learning things every practice, every game and getting better. I think it’s gone really well for me.”
Arizona remains at No. 21 in the TDS Top 25.