FC Tucson Women

FC Tucson Women over No. 7 SC del Sol 4-2 to take control of the Desert Conference

FC Tucson Keeper Maddy Smith. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson).

FC Tucson beat SC del Sol 4-2 Friday night at the Kino North Stadium to improve to 3-0-1 on the year and the club from the Phoenix area dropped to 2-1. SC del Sol came in ranked No. 7 in the WPSL West Region but, more importantly, the victory kept Tucson on top of the Desert Conference with 10 points.

SC del Sol is in second place with 6 points but the club can take the lead with two matches scheduled before Tucson takes to the pitch again. FC Tucson Women will travel to play at El Paso Surf on Saturday, July 24 (0-4) while SC del Sol hosts Arizona Arsenal (2-2) on Wednesday, July 21 before playing at El Paso on July 23.

Kate Connelly (Salpointe/Seattle) found Meredith Scott (Walden Grove/New Mexico State) in front of the goal in the 5th minute and Scott came away with a high header to put Tucson up 1-0. Jessica Haynes (Grand Canyon) came up with the equalizer in the 35th to even things up.

In what has become a dangerous weapon, Jaden Bailey (Arizona) placed a flip throw in to Salpointe senior Odessa Barattieri in stoppage time and Barattieri passed off to Paloma Teran (Salpointe/Metro State) for the score to put the club up 2-1 at the half.

No lead is safe when these two clubs play and ASU senior Keri Mathews tied the match back up 2-2 the 57th. Scott had a one-on-one situation in the 64th but she was tripped on the play, resulting in a penalty kick and Kourtney Kutscher (Northridge) came through to put Tucson back up 3-2.

Ariana Leamons (New Mexico State) centered the ball to Scott in the 88th to put Tucson up 4-2 but history has shown even that lead was not safe. Last season, FC Tucson led SC del Sol 2-0 heading into the 89th minute but a score by SC del Sol and another in an extended stoppage period forced a 2-2 draw. That tie ultimately cost Tucson another conference championship.

“This could have been déjà vu, we were up by two and I thought when we had that penalty it might happen again,” head coach Kelly Pierce said. “I expected it to be like this. I expected it to be super tight, a really good battle. I’m proud of the girls for really getting stuck in. Like I said, it definitely wasn’t pretty but at the end of the day, it’s a win.”

As Pierce mentioned, SC del Sol had a chance to draw closer in the 89th minute once again on a penalty but the play went too wide. The victory Friday night puts Tucson in the driver’s seat the rest of the way and there is only one home match left on the schedule and that is set for Friday, June 30 against the Utah Royals – AZ (1-1-1).

“I think we’ve had really good moments of possession,” Pierce added when asked about the small break before the next match. “I think it’s hard when you have different midfielders coming in and going and especially with tired legs. They overloaded the midfield on us for obvious reasons with who we have in the middle. So that was a little bit of adjusting for us and trying to figure it out and problem solve in the moment, which is not always easy. So I think just working on that kind of stuff, probably watching film and breaking it down and going through it all over again.”


Kourtney Kutscher and her twin sister Krystal also coach club soccer in California and Krystal missed the match Friday night due to her coaching duties and Kourtney flew in for the match and will fly back out Saturday morning to coach her squad.


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 amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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