Cats snap winless streak

2010-09-27T00:00:00Z 2010-09-27T06:11:19Z Cats snap winless streakBryan Rosenbaum Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The final pass - and the scoring opportunities that could come from it - had been lacking from Arizona all evening, so it was fitting that the first one came just before the final kick.

And with a finish in the 97th minute that was described by coach Lisa Oyen as "sophisticated," Arizona ended a three-game winless streak with a 1-0 sudden-death overtime victory over Utah on Sunday night at Murphey Stadium.

Alex Davis played Jazmin Ponce behind the Utah defense, and after what seemed like an eternity for her to line up her shot, Ponce put it past goalkeeper Cheyanne Mulcock and just inside the far left post.

"It felt really good," a relived Ponce said afterward.

The win won't cure all of Arizona's problems - it lost top scorer Renae Cuellar to a knee injury and is still trying to find an identity with 20 freshmen and sophomores on the roster - but for one night, the team had something to cheer about.

"We've been on a losing streak, and this is the start of a new winning streak," Ponce said. "It feels good, especially with the Pac-10 season coming up."

Arizona (3-5-2) had dropped its last two games, including a 2-0 loss at Loyola Marymount on Friday.

The Wildcats next face San Francisco on Sunday before beginning Pac-10 play with a trip to the Washington schools the following week.

With Cuellar on crutches and a brace on her left knee, Oyen has called for Ponce and Davis, as well as attackers Ana Montoya and Jensen Skinner, to help pick up some of the missing offense.

"The good thing is, (Cuellar) set a good example," Oyen said. "We're confident we have the players that can look to her to see how it's done."

It almost ended poorly for Arizona, as just 4 minutes earlier in overtime, Lexi Krantz fired a shot from 6 yards out over the crossbar - one of the few scoring opportunities in the game for either team.

"It's good to get the win, even though we probably went about it in the toughest way possible," Oyen said. "Utah did a good job of keeping us on our toes."

Arizona junior goalkeeper Ashley Jett recorded her first career shutout and was a commanding presence in the box, grabbing many Utah crosses before they became further trouble.

"She was very solid in there," Oyen said.

Up next

• What: San Francisco at Arizona

• When: 1 p.m., Sunday

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