FC Tucson Women battled to tie Arizona Arsenal SC 2-2 Friday night at the Bell Bank Park in Mesa. The draw kept Tucson in the lead of the Desert Conference with 10 points based on a 3-0-1 record midway through the season. Arizona Arsenal is in second place with 7 points with a 2-0-1 record.
Gilbert High School senior Siera Herbert put Arizona Arsenal up 1-0 in the 27th minute and that lead held up until Ella Rustand scored in the 49th minute on an assist from Laura Pimienta. Tucson had several opportunities from there but GCU standout Renee Sainz put Arizona Arsenal back up 2-1 in the 60th minute.
It looked like FC Tucson Women’s undefeated streak going back to 2019 was in jeopardy until former Salpointe standout Aryanna Sanchez scored in the 72nd minute on another assist from Pimienta.
“It was a pretty even battle the first half, both teams having chances but I think we created more opportunities in the second and were in their half the majority of the half, just couldn’t get the shots off enough and even when we did we were unable to capitalize,” head coach Kelly Pierce said.
“But, proud of their fight, never letting up. Back line was super solid again, all have great nights. All around great team effort refusing to leave without at least a point.”
FC Tucson is now 15-0-2 in the last 17 matches and that will get tested again when SC del Sol (1-1) visits Sunday night at the Kino North Stadium at 7 p.m. The team from Phoenix has a match at home with El Paso Surf (0-5) on Saturday night first. Atomic City FC (2-2) from Las Vegas is in third place.
Named one of “Arizona’s Heart & Sol” by KOLD and Casino del Sol, Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and a 2019 AZ Education News recognition. He was a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling and his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is a Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. He earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater and he was recognized by City Councilman Richard Fimbres. Contact Andy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org