Oh what a little confidence will do.
In its first game back home after splitting the LA road trip, Arizona soccer played a complete game to beat Colorado 2-0 Friday night at Mulcahy Stadium.
The Wildcats only needed three minutes, 18 seconds to put the first goal on the board, when Nicole Dallin kicked a rebound off the Buffaloes goalie into the net. Dallin was set up by a perfectly placed cross from Dallin originally tried to head the ball into the net, was denied, but stick with the ball after the initial save.
The goal was Dallin’s second score in three games. She scored the only goal in Arizona’s 1-0 win over USC last Thursday.
Arizona controlled possession for most of the first half, outshooting Colorado 13-7.
The Wildcats broke the game open late in the 53rd minute when Olivia Briede scored on a pass by Iliana Hocking. It was the first career goal for Briede, a sophomore forward.
53' - GOOOOOOOOAAAALLL ARIZONA!!!!— Arizona Soccer (@ArizonaSoccer) October 15, 2022
Iliana serves it up to Olivia for the score!
Arizona 2, Colorado 0 pic.twitter.com/EWR0l7OSz2
Arizona coach Becca Moros credited her team for coming out strong to start the second half.
“We definitely maybe came out flat for the first four minutes or so, but then we were able to get organized,” said Moros. “Sometimes it’s taken us 15 plus minutes to get ourselves settled in the second half. So they’ve really improved there.”
Any chance for a Buffaloes comeback took a hit when CU forward Shyra James, the Pac-12’s leading scorer, went down with an injury in the 58th minute.
CU also ran into a buzzsaw Friday against a Wildcats defense that riding high from the LA road trip. Arizona shutout No. 8 USC and kept No. 1 UCLA off the scoreboard for more than 80 minutes.
“I thought the weekend was just amazing for us,” said Briede. “We put in all of our effort into it. This game just helped us. With the big win, it’s huge for us.”
Briede attributed Arizona’s stout defense to consistent effort and an assertive gameplan.
“I think we just kept our marks, we stepped to the ball,” said Briede. “We just all worked together as a team.”
The Buffaloes only had three shots on goal for the night, giving Arizona goalie Hope Hissey a light workload by her standards.
“I think our defensive work rate, our organization has gotten a lot better over the last five games,” said Moros. I think it’s made it harder for teams to get into a rhythm, and I think that’s the same thing we did to them.”
Offensively, Arizona remained the aggressors throughout outshot CU 20-6 for the game.
“I would always opt to continue to put pressure on and play our game,” said Moros. “I think when you drop off a little bit you invite a lot of opportunities for the other team. We definitely don’t have a policy of packing in.”
The 2-0 victory marks Arizona’s first win multi-goal margin of victory under Moros. The last time the UA beat an opponent by multiple goals was the 2020 ASU game, which the Wildcats won by the same score.
Arizona returns to action next week when it travels to take on Washington and Washington State. The Wildcats face the Huskies Thursday at 7 p.m. MST on Pac-12 Washington.