Arizona soccer had a strong showing against No. 3 UCLA on Thursday but took a step back against No. 11 USC on Sunday in a 4-1 loss. As the team heads to the state of Oregon this week to face Oregon and Oregon State, head coach Becca Moros is looking for a few things in her team coming out of the uneven weekend.
“First off, rebounding from the worst loss this season, as far as scoreline,” Moros said.
Although time is limited during the week, the team is also still working on their comfort level with the possession game that they now play. Moros noted that it has just been nine weeks since they started working together, so there is still a great deal of learning going on.
Some of that came together last week when the Wildcats had what Moros called as “close to a complete performance” as they’ve had in a 2-1 loss to UCLA. Arizona was able to control play for most of that match, getting only the second goal anyone had scored on the Bruins this season.
Now, they need to see if they can play at that level on the road and do it consistently. Both Oregon and Oregon State have had big matches in the early part of Pac-12 play. The Ducks held UCLA to a 0-0 draw two weeks ago. The Beavers got a 2-1 win over No. 7 Stanford last week before falling to Cal by the same score.
One particular Wildcat is on the verge of moving up in the Arizona record books. Redshirt senior Jill Aguilera moved into a tie for second on the all-time goals list last week against the Bruins. Her next goal will give her sole possession of that spot. She will become Arizona’s all-time leading goal scorer with four more goals.
Arizona lost to the Ducks in the season held this spring but beat Oregon 5-2 two years ago. Goals from current Wildcats Aguilera, Iliana Hocking, and Ava McCray helped lift the team to victory that day, but the Ducks have an 8-14-2 all-time advantage in the series.
The Wildcats are looking for their ninth straight victory over the Beavers. Arizona leads the series 15-10-1, but Oregon State has been strong in the non-conference season and early Pac-12 play.
Oregon (6-4-1, 1-1-1 Pac-12)
Date and Time: Thursday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. MST
Location: Papé Field in Eugene, Ore.
Viewing and stats information: The match will air on Pac-12 Networks. Stats are available at Oregon Live Stats.
Rankings/RPI: Oregon is not ranked in the poll but is No. 39 in RPI.
Oregon State (9-2, 1-2 Pac-12)
Date and Time: Sunday, Oct. 10 at 1 p.m. MST
Location: Paul Lorenz Field in Corvallis, Ore.
Rankings/RPI: The Beavers are receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches poll. They are No. 14 in the RPI.