The youth movement - Tucson News Now

The youth movement

Tucson, AZ (KOLD) - Gabi Stoian. Leah Pruitt. Leah Pruitt. Gabi Stoian. 

"They're both dynamic," said Arizona soccer assistant Kylie Louw. "They both move around a lot, are energetic. Want the ball. Are creative."

And, as head coach Tony Amato noted, "They're both goal scorers."

That they are. But that's where the similarities end because while Stoian is established as Arizona's star sophomore midfielder, Pruitt is quickly making a name for herself as San Diego State's star freshman forward. Two young ladies whose drive and skill will put each squarely in the cross hairs of the other team when the Wildcats and Aztec face off on Friday in the Sun Devil Desert Classic. 

"You know they can beat you at any moment," said Amato. 

Like Stoian, Pruitt leads her team in points. She's also helped lead the Aztec to a 2-1 record that included a 2-0shut out of then 16/17th ranked Kentucky in Lexington. 

"Any time they go in and win in a place like that you know they're a good team," said Amato. 

San Diego State's sole loss came at the hands of Cal on the road in Berkeley. Had lightning not forced a cancellation, the Aztec would have finished its match against Arizona State, making this game against the Wildcats SDSU's third straight Pac-12 showdown in two weeks. 

Meanwhile Arizona is coming off a 4-0 win against NAU. This match against the Aztec begins a non-conference gauntlet of sorts. Arizona will face Stephen F. Austin Sunday then host 22nd ranked Texas Tech and 19th ranked Pepperdine next week.

But first thing's first. 

"We got play our best to beat them," said Louw. "We can't go in half-hearted otherwise they're gonna end up with a win from us."

Arizona and San Diego State meet up Friday in Tempe. The match begins at 4:30pm.

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