After playing from behind in its last two games, the Washington women’s soccer team was determined to dictate the pace of the game early. For the first time since Sept. 28, the Huskies (9-7-2, 2-5-2 Pac-12) took the lead with a first half goal.
However, they were unable to build off that momentum despite several close shots and corner kick opportunities. That allowed host Arizona to net the equalizer, and the game-winning goal in the closing minutes, sending Washington away with a 2-1 loss.
“When Arizona is down 1-0, they are going to do what they do,which is smash long balls, battle for balls in the air, work for corner kicks and restarts,” head coach Lesle Gallimore said. “They are a hardworking, hard-playing team, and that’s how they won.”
The Wildcats (8-4-4, 5-2-2 Pac-12) had three straight corner kicks in the 62nd minute. On the third, redshirt sophomore midfielder Morgan McGarry lofted a ball that was headed into the goal by sophomore midfielder Kelcey Cavarra.
Twenty minutes later, the Huskies were sent scrambling back on defense on an Arizona counterattack. The ball made its way to the Wildcats’ primary playmaker, senior midfielder Cali Crisler, who weaved past senior defender Dominique Bond-Flasza.
The Everett, Wash. native found fellow senior Charlotte Brascia crashing into the box, and Washington goalkeeper Sarah Shimer was unable to break up the pass. Brascia’s goal was her third this season.
“They outhustled us in front of our goal and we didn’t outhustle them in front of theirs,” Gallimore said.
In the remaining seven or so minutes, the Huskies pressed once again, but only managed one shot, a header from senior forward Kimberly Keever that went high.
Keever scored her team’s lone goal of the evening, on a header assisted by Bond-Flasza. Despite breaking a three-game scoring streak, Gallimore said the Huskies were simply not threatening junior goalkeeper Lainey Burdett enough.
“We are just not dangerous enough, we don’t have people that want to put it on their shoulders to be the one to get the goal,” Gallimore said. “A one-goal lead in this league, they are going to battle back, they are not just going to give you the game.”
Tonight’s loss is the Huskies’ fourth straight, though the team did have better flow and rhythm offensively than they did in their previous losses. They were able to control the ball and make the Arizona defense play from sideline to sideline. However, they were unable to get themselves free inside the box.
In the 36 minutes between Keever’s goal and Cavarrra’s equalizer, the Huskies recorded four shots. Granted, they did limit the Wildcats to just two in that same span, but they did not give themselves enough opportunities to secure their lead.
“We were good enough in a lot of aspects of the game, but not where it mattered,” Gallimore said.
This Sunday, the Huskies will look to end their losing streak against Arizona State. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.
Reach reporter Aaron Huang at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aaron_c_huang