When a team can’t reach all of the goals it set for itself before the season, sometimes making it more difficult for its rivals to reach theirs is consolation. Arizona soccer did that by finishing the season with a win over in-state rival Arizona State 2-1 at home.
“To send off our seniors with that kind of high note after all that they’ve done for the program and the kind of people they are is a really special feeling for the team,” head coach Becca Moros said.
Arizona came out aggressive in a physical first half putting pressure on ASU. Neither team broke through to take the lead.
In the 40th minute, UA had an opportunity to take the upper hand but Sami Baytosh’s shot was blocked by Arizona State goalkeeper Pauline Nelles.
Arizona went into the half leading in shots (5-2) and shots on goal (2-1).
In the 47th minute, Gianna Christiansen gave UA a 1-0 lead after finding the back of the net off passes from Nicole Dallin and Baytosh.
Sami. Nicki. Gianna.— Arizona Soccer (@ArizonaSoccer) November 4, 2023
Mulcahy magic ✨ pic.twitter.com/wI7YgBbpEg
UA got an insurance goal in the 54th minute. The Wildcats were awarded a penalty kick and Dallin did not miss, extending the lead to 2-0.
Goal 9️⃣ on the year for Nicki pic.twitter.com/OBEMqBfB8h— Arizona Soccer (@ArizonaSoccer) November 4, 2023
Dallin ended the regular season with a team-high nine goals, placing her third in the Pac-12. Her 20 points tied for sixth in the league. She took 51 shots, placing ninth in the conference. She had the highest percentage of shots on goal (.529) among the nine players who took at least 50 shots.
ASU struck back in the 56th minute when Gabi Rennie’s shot was bobbled by Hisey. The goal cut the Arizona lead in half.
In the final 10 minutes of the match, the Sun Devils turned on the aggressiveness but the Wildcats held them off to take their final game of the season.
There were four yellow cards in the match. Each team was assessed two.
UA fifth-year keeper Hisey finished the match with five saves, increasing her previous record for career saves to 366.
“I’m just so grateful that I’ve had the teammates and the support system to make this a really positive experience for me,” Hisey said. “I’ve just approached it with hard work every day and knowing that if I control what I can control then at the end of it, which is now, I can look back and feel content with how things went and I do feel at peace with my career here.”
It was the largest crowd for a home Arizona soccer game with 1,389 people in attendance.
According to Chris Henderson of WoSoIndependent.com, the loss drops the Sun Devils’ RPI to 44, putting their hopes of going to a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance in jeopardy. They entered the night at No. 32.
Arizona finishes the year with a 6-8-5 overall record and a 3-6-2 record in its final season in the Pac-12.