By: Ruby Arani/ GCU Staff
There is something to be said about a comeback.
Over the weekend, the Grand Canyon University Women’s Club Soccer team split a pair of matches at Prescott Field against the University of Arizona and Arizona State University in dramatic fashion, ending the weekend with an incredible comeback.
To kick off the weekend, the Lopes took on the Arizona Wildcats, seeking revenge for the 8-0 loss the Wildcats delivered to the Lopes in Tucson October 6. The Wildcats’ offense dominated possession to bypass the Lopes’ defense to find an early goal. As the Lopes tried to regroup, U of A was awarded a free-kick that the Wildcats put away for a 2-0 lead at halftime. In the second half, the Lopes battled hard but were unable to find a scoring opportunity in dropping the 2-0 decision.
“We saw great improvements, and I think a 2-0 loss versus an 8-0 loss can attest to that,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Hannah Bolton. “I thought we started off the game a little slow, but improved as the second half went on, and finished with a scoreless second half. Our center midfielders and our back line have shown the most improvement.”
Sunday morning, the Lopes came back to Prescott Field to take on the Sun Devils of ASU, again trying to square the season series after suffering a 2-1 loss to the Devils at the ASU West campus in Glendale on October 13. After falling behind, 1-0, at halftime, the Lopes came out strong with hard pressure on the Sun Devils’ attack, but ASU’s attacking side again broke down the Lopes pressure to score again.
That’s when the Lopes found their break. A goal from Lopes’ freshman Kennedy Newton (on an assist from junior Julia Ballesteros) narrowed the deficit, then GCU junior Rachel Macrane headed a Lopes’ corner kick to the back of the net to tie the match at 2-2. With both sides battling in the final ten minutes to gain the lead, the Lopes received a penalty kick in the ASU box. Sophomore Rachel Fernandez stepped up with confidence to convert the penalty kick and seal the Lopes’ 3-2 victory.
“The biggest thing that set the tone for us against ASU was believing we were going to win,” said Bolton. “The girls didn’t give up today. We were tough, and battled throughout the whole game, and I am really proud of them for that.”
The Lopes return to Prescott Field on Tuesday, October 23 to take on Benedictine University JV at 6:00 pm. Admission is FREE.
Interested in playing club soccer? Contact Head Coach Hannah Bolton today!