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Strong defensive effort vs California not enough for Arizona soccer in overtime loss

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Arizona goalkeeper Hope Hisey
Photo by Madison Farwell / Arizona Athletics

The California Golden Bears came into Thursday afternoon’s match with a reputation for strong defensive play. The Arizona Wildcats matched them step for step during regulation. It just wasn’t enough as Arizona soccer fell in overtime by a score of 1-0.

Cal and Arizona both had four shots on goal. The Wildcats were led by sophomore Maddy Koleno who had two of those shots. Madison Goerlinger and Tianna Sidtukin each had one.

Arizona goalkeeper Hope Hisey and defender Sarah Rice had especially strong performances. Hisey had three saves on the day including an impressive one in the 41st minute when she knocked away a shot from Cal’s Noelle Bond-Flasza that seemed destined for the bottom left corner.

Rice, who has had to step up since the loss of senior defender Sabrina Enciso, seemed to be turning away the Bears’ attack all match. While Cal out-shot Arizona 14-8, the defense of the Wildcats kept the team in it until the horn blew at the end of regulation.

Arizona entered its first overtime period of the season with hopes of breaking through with the first result in Pac-12 play. Even a draw would at least put a point by their name.

In the second minute of overtime, the Wildcats earned a free kick. Like the chances previously in the match, they couldn’t capitalize as Jill Aguilera’s shot sailed over the goal.

In the 96th minute, Cal freshman Karlie Lema was finally able to find the back of the net off an assist by Alexis Wright. It dropped Arizona to 3-11 overall and 0-7 in conference play.