Nicole Dallin had her streak of scoring in every game this season snapped against Texas Tech on Thursday. Doesn’t that just mean it’s time to start a new streak?
“Definitely,” Dallin said. “Cross my fingers, right?”
She got a start on that with the Wildcats’ lone score of the match against Utah State. Dallin put it in the top right corner in the 77th minute to give Arizona the 1-0 lead that held up for the final 12.5 minutes.
“I wasn’t sure I was gonna get a shot up,” Dallin said. “There were touches, a couple of deflections, and I thought why not just shoot it?”
The goal set Dallin’s personal record for scores in a season. She needs two more goals to tie for ninth in the record book for goals in a season. Three more will tie her with career goals leader Jill Aguilera for eighth. She scored five last year for her previous record but has scored in six of seven matches this season.
Fifth-year goalkeeper Hope Hisey kept a clean sheet for her first solo shutout of the season. She also has a combined shutout against Kent State when she was relieved by Hannah Mitchell late in the match. She needs five more to tie career leader Lainey Burdett (2015-18) with 26. After stopping five shots on goal, she now stands in sole possession of second place on career saves with 311. She needs 34 more to tie Jan Weibel (1994-96) for first.
Perhaps the most important part of her game has been helping keep an inexperienced back line organized. She said she had to “get on them” in the draw against Texas Tech, and she could be heard shouting instructions to them as Utah State tried to equalize in the final minutes.
“Hope is one of the biggest organizers on the field,” said defender Sarah Rice. “I think she sees everything so she can give us a lot of really good information. And I think us being able to hear her and listen to her and implement that plan is really good.
Rice is trying to step into that new leadership role, but she is struggling against what Arizona head coach Becca Moros calls her “gentle giant” nature.
“It’s been a little bit of a challenge for me to kind of use my voice more and direct people, and just get like a little mean, but I think I’ve been getting better,” Rice said.
Arizona improved to 3-1-3 on the season heading into its final pre-conference match at Gonzaga. The Wildcats went 1-0-1 in the four-team Arizona Classic. Utah State fell to 2-5-1 with losses in both games at the tournament. ASU and UA did not face each other over the weekend because they will play in Pac-12 competition at the end of the regular season.