SDSU Women's Soccer Defeats Arizona, 1-0, in Opener
Aztec Women's Soccer defeats Arizona, 1-0
Aug. 19, 2011
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State women's soccer team opened its 2011 campaign with a 1-0 victory against Arizona on Friday afternoon. The contest was the first for both teams as they kicked off the new season at SDSU Sports Deck.
Both teams held each other scoreless in the opening half with the Aztecs holding a 9-7 advantage in shots. SDSU's first good chance came in the 11th minute when redshirt junior Tiffany Hurst sent a cross to Cat Walker, but the redshirt senior was unable to find the net as her header went too high.
Arizona also had a good chance of getting on the scoreboard early on when Renae Cuellar found herself facing just one defender, but her shot went wide left with 22:34 remaining in the first half. Less than a minute later, the Aztecs had another opportunity when sophomore Haley Palmer took a shot from 22 yards out. Her shot, however, was too high and the game remained scoreless.
The Wildcats then put SDSU's defense to the test, as Jazmin Ponce's shot required a leaping save up near the crossbar by redshirt freshman goalkeeper Rachel Boaz. The next goal scoring opportunity didn't come for another 13 minutes when freshman Kelsey Booth's header went left from 10 yards out. The Aztecs had two more chances in the half, the first of which was a shot from the left by freshman Haley Locker that required a two-handed save. Then with 1:40 remaining in the opening half, Walker's shot went high off a pass from Locker.
SDSU shut down the Wildcats' offense in the second half, only allowing three shots, while notching 12 shots of its own. The Aztecs once again had opportunities to score early on in the second half as a corner kick by Palmer found Walker in front the net. Her shot, however, was blocked and the rebound came out to Hurst, who's shot from 20 yards out went wide right. Then a few minutes later, Hurst had another opportunity but her clear shot from 25 yards out was high. With 30:51 remaining in regulation, junior Megan Jurado found Walker, but she was unable to score as her shot was just off the mark.
About eight minutes later, Arizona was called for a handball in the box that resulted in a penalty shot. Walker took the shot and nailed it to give the Aztecs a 1-0 lead with 30:51 remaining. SDSU had one more opportunity when junior Sarah Halverson found freshman forward Hannah Keane, who went in with the sliding kick, but her attempt was saved by goalkeeper Ashley Jett.
With Arizona trailing by one, the Wildcats upped the pressure but the Aztecs thwarted every opportunity en route to securing Boaz's first career shutout in her first career start. In 90 minutes, Boaz notched three saves. Boaz's counterpart, Jett, recorded a game-high five saves.
For the game, SDSU outshot Arizona, 21-10 (6-3 shots on goal), and won the corner kick battle, 4-1. In her first game back since the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament, Walker led the team with eight shots, three on goal and scored the game-winner.
The Aztecs return to action on Sunday as they take on California in Berkeley. First tap is set for 1 p.m. at Edwards Stadium.