It would have been perfect for Tucson native Hope Hisey to set Arizona soccer’s career saves record at home on senior day last Sunday. Instead, the goalkeeper had to wait one more game to do it on the road at Colorado. Even more disappointing for the Wildcats, she did it in a 2-0 loss that stretched their winless streak to eight matches.
Hisey went into the game in Boulder tied with Jen Weibel (1994-96) with 345 career saves. She took sole possession of the record with a beautiful diving save in the 20th minute.
There is no better joy in life than giving your all for such a wonderful university and city. No number will ever quantify the feeling. Forever grateful. https://t.co/xLddtYyAac— hope (@hopehisey31) October 27, 2023
As beautiful as the save was, it had repercussions. Arizona head coach Becca Moros has talked about how the Wildcats struggle against set pieces all season. Hisey’s save gave CU one of its nine corner kicks. The Buffs took advantage, getting the winning goal by Shyra James just seconds after the save.
CU got an insurance goal from freshman Faith Leyba just seconds into the second half.
Hisey ended the night with a season-high seven saves, making the new program saves record 352 with two matches to play. The problem was that she faced a season-high 26 shots, nine of which were on goal. James set a Colorado program record for shots with 12.
It was the second time in three games that Arizona has given up at least 20 shots. The Wildcats surrendered 20 shots to reigning national champion UCLA last Thursday.
Hisey was noticeably displeased with the defensive effort of the Wildcats on occasion, as she faced pressure all night.
On the other end, the Buffs defense seemed to always do just enough to keep Arizona from getting a good shot—or, in many cases, any shot. Colorado goalkeeper Jordan Nytes faced 10 shots. Five of those were on goal.
It’s a challenge Arizona has faced regularly in conference play. It was just the third time the Wildcats have reached double digits in shots since Pac-12 play started. The last time was on Oct. 8 in a loss to Washington.
The Buff’s ability to do what they needed defensively as the Wildcats struggled also showed up in corner kicks. Arizona had just four, less than half of the nine secured by Colorado.
The Wildcats have not won since facing Oregon on Sept. 22 to open Pac-12 play. They are 0-6-2 since then.
Arizona next travels to Utah for its final road game of the season. The match kicks off at 11 a.m. MST on Sunday, Oct. 29 on Utah Live Stream 2.