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Arizona soccer falls to No. 1 UCLA on late goal

Madison Farwell / Arizona Athlet

For more than 80 minutes Sunday, Arizona soccer went toe to toe with the best team in the country and held its own.

Coming off a 1-0 upset of No. 8 USC, Arizona parlayed that energy into an inspired performance against No. 1 ranked UCLA, only to see the Bruins come away victorious with a late goal.

In the 83d minute, UCLA’s Sunshine Fontes struck a ball from outside the box past Arizona’s Hope Hissey, breaking up a near-flawless performance by the UA goalie.

The 1-0 loss is a heartbreaker for the Wildcats (4-6-2, 1-4 Pac-12) and second-year coach Becca Moros. The defeat is all the more disappointing because Arizona had a prime opportunity to go ahead earlier in the second half.

Arizona forward Nicole Dallin, who delivered the lone goal in the UA’s win over USC Thursday, nearly scored again Sunday when she stole a careless UCLA pass at the top of the Bruins box in the 53rd minute. Dallin had a point blank look at goal, but her shot ricocheted off the crossbar.

The Wildcats had a couple other shots on goal but none as good as that.

On the other side, Hissey made a couple spectacular saves in the first half to keep UCLA off the scoreboard.

The Bruins controlled possession for much of the first half, but Arizona became the aggressor out of halftime.

Balance of possession switched over to UCLA as the second half wore on until Fontes found a seam to knot the game-winning goal.

The UA had eight shots on the day, compared to nine for UCLA.

Arizona returns to action Friday when it hosts Colorado at 7 p.m. MST on Pac-12 Arizona.