Arizona blanks N. Colorado, advances in soccer postseason - Tucson News Now

Arizona blanks N. Colorado, advances in soccer postseason

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Jessica Nelson and Sheaffer Skadsen each scored a goal for Arizona (13-5-2) as they went on to defeat Northern Colorado (13-8-2) by a score of 2-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

This was the first time that Arizona hosted the NCAA Tournament and the fourth time that they have participated in the tournament. The Wildcats have advanced past the first round for the third time in school history and the second year in a row.

Arizona is now 11-1 when scoring first, 8-1-1 when scoring 2+ goals and 7-0 when leading at halftime. This is also the ninth time that Arizona has kept a clean sheet.

The Wildcats outshot Northern Colorado 27-7. Those 27 shots are tied for the most in one match this season. Arizona also took 10 corner kicks to Northern Colorado’s four.

Haley Silverberg had the first scoring chance of the night in the seventh minute after a Hannah Wong corner kick found her head, but the header went just wide of the right post.

About one minute later, Paige Crouch received a perfect through ball and had a one-on-one breakaway with the keeper. Her touch was a little too heavy, and the keeper was able to collect the ball at the last second.

Hayley Estopare hit the post in the 13th minute after her header off another corner kick hit the right post. Three minutes later, Alexa Montgomery decided to go for goal from about 40 yards away. The shot was a rocket and was on target as well, but the keeper was able to make the save.

Arizona took a couple more shots in the next 20 minutes or so, but nothing Northern Colorado couldn’t handle. Then the 39th minute came.

Tucson native Nelson scored her second goal of the season on a rebound shot. Cali Crisler took a free kick from about 18 yards away and went for goal. It was saved and Laura Pimienta was on the end of it and took the rebound shot, but it was blocked. Nelson stepped in and calmly finished it and gave Arizona a 1-0 lead.

The score was 1-0 going into halftime, and neither team formed a formidable attack in the first 20 minutes of the second half.

In the 69th minute, Wong stood over the ball for a free kick from about 25 yards away. She went for goal, and the ball hit the top of the crossbar and went out of bounds.

Kaitlyn Lopez earned a penalty kick in the 74th minute after being taken down in the goal box as she was near the goal line. Skadsen then stepped up to the spot and placed the ball perfectly in the right corner of the goal, giving Arizona a 2-0 lead. Skadsen now has three goals this season and five for her career. Three have come off of penalty kicks.

The Arizona defense held up for the last 15 minutes and kept Northern Colorado off the board. With tonight’s win, the Wildcats will go on to face the winner of the Santa Clara-Long Beach State match, who play on Saturday.

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