Women’s soccer loses in season kickoff

On Friday night, the Panthers took on the Arizona’s wildcats and lost 4-2 on their kickoff game of the 2013 season as members of Conference USA.

In the first half, Arizona’s Kaitlyn Lopez scored the first goal of the night at five minutes into the game with an assist by Alexandra Doller. At the 38th minute, the Panthers began to pick up momentum as sophomore Mariena Stablein covered the midfield to build the team some point opportunities. However, this was the only goal of the half and closed the half by 1-0. Arizona also led the first half in shots, 7-6.

In the second half the panthers returned to the field on full action. At minute 49 junior Ashleigh Shim defended a nearly sure side goal by the wildcats. Shortly after the wildcats responded and began holding possession of the ball and by minute 53 Arizona’s Jaden Degracie kicked in the ball from out of bounds and gets quickly swept by Shim, she then loses possession and gave wildcats the opportunity to maker the second goal of the night in the second half.

The second half continued in favor of the Wildcats until around the 73rd minute, when senior Crystal McNamara scored a header goal with the assist of sophomore Madlen Weinhardt. This alerted the Panthers to keep the momentum going and at the 78th minute, Arizona attempted yet another goal and was viciously blocked by freshman goalkeeper Vanessa Plasencia.

The Wildcats responded again with another goal at the 81st minute. Yet the Panthers did not stay quiet and within the same minute, the ball was brought back onto the field and Weinhardt scored the Panther’s second goal of the night.

The game ended 4-2 Arizona, which has served as an improvement compared to last season’s match that ended 3-0.

“We lost physical balance. Arizona was good,” Head Coach Thomas Chestnutt said. “They did the things needed to be done but we didn’t. We need to make sure to win our physical battle and play a bit smarter next time.”

The Panthers next home game will be against the University of Florida Gators on September 1st at 7 pm.

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