Wildcat soccer finishes on a high note - Tucson News Now

Wildcat soccer finishes on a high note

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TUCSON, Ariz. – University of Arizona women's soccer, under the direction of first-year head coach Tony Amato, finished the 2013 season with a 9-7-4 record, earning the first winning record the Wildcats have seen since 2005.

The Wildcats started the season undefeated for six-straight games, including a notable 0-0 tie against No. 24 Ohio State and a 6-0 shutout against UC Riverside. The 3-0-3 start for the Wildcats was the best since 1994, the program's inaugural year.

To conclude the 2013 season, the Cats shutout in-state rival Arizona State, 2-0, to add to their six shutout games on the season. Among the Pac-12 teams, the Wildcats ended the season ranked No. 2 in goals with 38 and No. 4 in shots with 328 total.

"We are very happy with the progress we made this season," head coach Tony Amato said. "We asked our players to focus on competing and winning every game we played, and that is exactly how they approached each week. As a result, we were able to accomplish a lot together and set the foundation for us moving forward."

Senior forward Jazmin Ponce finished the season leading the Pac-12 in shots with 92 and game-winning goals with five. Junior goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman finished her season leading the Pac-12 in saves with 105. Sophomore Kaitlyn Lopez recorded a total of five goals, one assist and attempted 26 shots, including 11 on goal.

Sophomore Hannah Wong recorded four goals, three assists and 21 shots with 10 on goal. Junior Julia Glanz recorded two goals for the Wildcats and attempted 11 shots. Ana-Maria Montoya, Hayley Estopare, Emily Lai, Mykaylin Rosenquist and Alexa Montgomery each scored a goal for the Wildcats.

On the season, Ponce earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 22 after recording two goals and one game-winning score in the 3-2 overtime victory against USC. Kaufman earned her first Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week award on Sept. 3 after leading the Wildcats to a 6-0 shutout over UC Riverside and holding No. 24 Ohio State scoreless in a double overtime draw. Kaufman received her second Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday for recording eight saves in a 2-0 shutout over Arizona State.

"I am proud of the fact the girls achieved a winning season overall," Amato said. "We won the most games in a Pac-12 season for our program since 2005, and won a Territorial Cup Series point for the department. More importantly, our players worked very hard to represent our core values and have changed the culture of our team."

Of the 13 freshmen and one transfer on the 2013 roster, eight newcomers competed in matches. Junior Alexandra Doller ranked second on the team in goals with seven, shots with 42 and had three assists. Freshmen Justene Kesterson and Haley Silverberg both scored their first collegiate goals in the match vs. UC Riverside. Freshman Lexe Selman recorded 27 shots, 11 on goal. Freshman Jaden DeGracie scored one goal, one game-winning goal, 19 shots and led the team in assists with eight.  

"I want to make sure I thank our seniors as they were instrumental to our success this season," Amato said. "They supported (assistant coach) Kylie (Louw), (assistant coach) Paul (Nagy) and me from the beginning and that is very important when the program is going through a coaching transition.  I know Ana, Shannon, and Jazmin will continue to be successful and I am looking forward to their continued support as Wildcat alumni. We are excited about the direction of our program and we will continue to stay focused on making Arizona Soccer elite and fun."

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