Arizona Remains Undefeated With 1-1 Draw At Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. – The Arizona soccer team remained undefeated on the 2022 season with a hard fought 1-1 draw at Nebraska on Thursday night. It's the third time in the last four seasons that the Wildcats have not had a loss through the first three matches of the season.
The Arizona (2-0-1) goal came off the right foot of freshman Sami Baytosh, her first collegiate goal. As strong as the goal was, the individual effort and touch from sophomore Maddy Koleno to earn the assist, her second in as many matches, was equally brilliant.
Hope Hisey made four saves in goal, and the goal that she did allow came off a Nebraska cross that deflected off an Arizona defender.
Koleno's effort began on the right sideline near midfield where she received a throw-in. She calmly flipped the ball over two defenders and spun around them and then regained possession as another Husker defender came over to collect the ball. After breaking free, she took one touch toward the middle of the pitch and delivered a perfect pass to Baytosh at the top of the 18-yard box. Baytosh was able to get her right foot on it just before the Nebraska keeper was able to block it and strongly send it to the back of the net.
The goal seemed to ignite the Arizona attack as they continued to put pressure on the Nebraska defense.
Just two minutes later, senior Madison Goerlinger found herself unmarked in the box on a corner kick but her header sailed high over the goal. Shortly after that, Nyota Katembo had a chance after being put in on goal, but her touch was too strong and rolled wide right of the goal.
Arizona was still not done on the attack, and once again it was Baytosh in the middle of it. In the 78th minute, freshman Ella Hatteberg fired a rocket from the left side of the 18-yard box that the Nebraska keeper stopped. But the ball rolled right to Baytosh, with the keeper laying on the ground near the penalty spot. Baytosh loaded up the right foot and sent it in on goal, but a diving Nebraska defender was able to get her body in front of it and save it off the line to keep the score tied.
Earlier in the match, the Arizona attack put together a number of chances that came up just short. In the 60th minute, sophomore Gianna Christiansen's cross into the box narrowly missed the head of a wide open Nicole Dallin. And in the 50th minute, Baytosh made a clever pass to Jordan Hall but the Nebraska keeper was able to smother it before Hall could get her foot on it.
Freshman Cameron Valladares created a chance in the first half that went wide and Baytosh followed it up with a shot that was blocked.
Arizona will close out its early season 3-game road trip on Thursday, Sept. 1 at Grand Canyon. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PT and will be streamed live on ESPN+ (subscription required).
The next home match for the Wildcats is on Sunday, Sept. 4 against UAB starting at 10:30 a.m. PT at Mulcahy Stadium. Tickets start as low as $5 and can be purchased online.