Hannah Wong scored her first goal of the season in the 49th minute to give the 21st-ranked Arizona Wildcats (12-4-2, 6-3-1 Pac-12) a 1-0 victory over Utah (6-10-3, 3-7 Pac-12). Wong was able to find some space after she evaded two defenders with some impressive dribbling and then beat the keeper near post.
“It was a great weekend for us,” head coach Tony Amato said. “Hannah (Wong) scored a great goal and I told her at halftime that thought it would be a great time for her to score. She had a great moment and it was great to see her respond that way, especially when the team needed it.”
Utah outshot the Wildcats 15-10, which makes Arizona 3-3 when being outshot. The Utes also took five more corner kicks than Arizona. Only three players went for goal for Arizona. Cali Crisler led the way with four, and Paige Crouch and Wong each took three. Of those 10 shots taken, seven of them were on target.
Lainey Burdett got the start in goal today and she was a brick wall for the Wildcats. She finished the day with six saves, which is the second-most of her career. This is Arizona’s eighth clean sheet of the season as well.
Arizona had the first scoring chance of the match in the fourth as a Jaden DeGracie flip throw in found the head of Hayley Estopare. She then headed it to the back post towards Crouch, who got a foot on it, but Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke made the first of her six saves.
Crisler then got active and took a series of shots within the next five minutes, but all of them were either saved by Luke or were off target.
Utah saw their first scoring chance in the 10th minute as they took a shot from outside the goal box, but Burdett made her first save of the day as she dove to parry it away.
Not much happened until the 31st minute when Crisler stole a Utah defender’s pass. She then ran up the right side of the pitch and sent a cross in towards Estopare. She was able to get a head on it, but it didn’t have much on it and Luke collected the ball.
The Utes almost got a goal right before halftime as they were on the break and took a shot, but defender Sheaffer Skadsen was there to slide and block it.
Wong scored her goal just four minutes into the second half off an assist from Crisler. Crisler now has three assists this weekend after not having one coming into the Colorado match.
Utah looked to respond in the 56th minute after a good cross was sent in to the Arizona goal box. The attacker trapped it and took a shot at cage, but Burdett was there to save it.
Wong stayed active as she received a flip throw in and made a few moves to get open. She took the shot towards the right side of the goal, but Luke was able to dive to her right and make the save.
Utah then had a dangerous free kick from about 20 yards away and decided to try to pass it into the goal box and go for a header. Hannah Stevens was having none of it as she rose up and headed the ball to safety.
Maybe Utah’s best scoring chance came in the 79th minute as they counterattacked and an attacker received a through ball towards the right post. She took her time to set up the shot and fired it on goal. Burdett was forced to leave her feet, but she was able to punch the ball over the crossbar. Arizona then cleared the ensuing corner kick.
The Arizona defense worked hard in the final 10 minutes to not allow a Utah goal by blocking about four shots towards the end of the match. They kept the clean sheet and the Wildcats won by a score of 1-0.
The Wildcats are back in action on Friday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. MST for the season finale against Arizona State. The match will be aired live on the Pac-12 Networks at Mulcahy Stadium.
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