The Arizona Wildcats closed out the regular season with a dominant performance against the Arizona State Sun Devils to capture the 2-0 road victory under the bright lights of Sun Devil Stadium. It was the sixth consecutive win in a row against the Devils, marking a setting a new program win-streak in the rivalry.
Arizona got off to a hot start offensively and had the Devils struggling early on. The cats’ aggressive attack paid off quickly when senior Jada Talley was able to just get past a defender and punch it in to put Arizona on top 1-0 in the 15th minute.
Struggles with passing continued to plague the Sun Devils as the first half unfolded, and the Cats capitalized on it with their speed and footwork. Arizona continued to put sophomore goalie Giulia Cascapera to the test but she didn’t crack, and at halftime it was still anyone’s game at 1-0.
“Arizona defended well – credit to Arizona. We tried something a little bit different in the first half to go around them but unfortunately it turned into a back five more than a back three so we had to revert back. So we were struggling to get behind them a bit. But it is credit to Arizona for defending extremely well,” Arizona State Coach Graham Winkworth said.
The Sun Devils showed a little more energy in the second half, but the Wildcats still seemed to have the upper hand and were controlling the game. At the 60-minute mark, Arizona extended the lead to 2-0 with a beautiful goal from senior Jill Aguilar off a pass from senior Hannah Clifford.
Arizona State finally was able to find a bit of an offensive rhythm, but it still wasn’t enough. Sophomore goalie Hope Hisey was able to save all four attempts made by the Devils on the night.
Overall, Arizona had 14 shots to Arizona State’s nine, and when it came to corner kicks, the Wildcats had eight compared to the Devils lone attempt.
Besides just making it six straight rivalry wins, the two goals in the game also had additional significance for both Talley and Aguilar. Each of them now have 24 career goals, putting them in a tie for fourth for the most in Arizona’s program history.
Both teams are now anxiously waiting for Monday to learn if they earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats finished the regular season 9-5-1, while the Sun Devils finished 8-5-2.
“Credit to the Pac-12, there’s no weak teams this year,” Winkworth said.
Brittany Bowyer is a freelance journalist who started her career as an intern for a small sports website back in 2015. Since then, she’s obtained her master’s degree in Sports Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU and is in her fourth year of covering various levels of sports across a broad range of platforms in Arizona. You can follow her on twitter @bbowyer07