Freshman midfielder Alyssa Gomez
SUU Strategic Communications

T-Birds Continue Pac-12 Stretch in Arizona

September 10, 2013
By SUU Strategic Communication

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The Thunderbirds (2-3-0) take on two more Pac-12 opponents this week as they travel to the Arizona Cats Classic in Tucson, Ariz. Southern Utah will face the Wildcats (3-0-3) this Friday at 8 p.m. (MT) before squaring off against Arizona State (4-1-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m. SUU has not faced Arizona since its debut season of soccer in 2001 and the matchup against the Sundevils will mark the first all-time meeting between the two schools. Live stats will be available at

Arizona has made it through its first six games without taking a loss and earned a scoreless draw at No. 24 Ohio State. Junior forward Alexandra Doller leads the Wildcats with four goals on the year, followed closely by Jazmin Ponce who holds three scores. The team defense has held opponents to just a 0.71 goals against average while recording two shutouts. Head Coach Tony Amato is in his first season at UA.

Arizona State is receiving votes in the early polls after taking wins over Illinois and Kansas while dropping a 3-1 decision to No. 20 Texas A&M. The Sundevils feature one of the top scorers in the NCAA in sophomore forward Cali Farquharson who has already racked up seven goals on the season. Head Coach Kevin Boyd is in his seventh year in Tempe where he holds a record of 58-53-14. ASU will face Texas Tech this Friday before meeting up with SUU on Sunday afternoon.

Southern Utah took a 6-2 road loss at the University of Utah (2-1-2) Sunday afternoon. Sydney Cook and Christine Meehan each tallied their first goals of the year late in the match, but the Utes had already pulled away thanks to two scores from both Baylee Nielsen and Katie Taylor. Utah led 6-0 until late in the second half when Cook snuck a shot past the goalkeeper to put Southern Utah on the board. Meehan then converted a penalty kick in the final minutes to set the final count at 6-2.
Utah held a 19-9 shooting advantage in the match, as well as an 8-5 edge on corner kicks. Elyssa Hashimoto played the first 45 minutes in goal for SUU before being replaced by Tessa Christensen who turned in six saves in the second half.

Southern Utah returns home next week to wrap up non-conference play by hosting UC Riverside on Friday, Sept. 20th at 1 p.m. The Thunderbirds dropped a 2-1 decision in double overtime to the Highlanders last year and are still looking for their first program win against UCR in what will be the eighth all-time meeting between the two teams. Next week’s match will begin a four-game home stretch for SUU that will see the Thunderbirds open Big Sky Conference play with visits from Northern Arizona, Weber State and Idaho State.