The Arizona Wildcats will continue their quest for a national title on Friday, when they take on fourth-seed Florida State in the second round of the NCAA women’s soccer tournament.
Arizona (11-4-4) defeated TCU 2-1 last week behind two late goals. The Wildcats will need to move quicker to defeat Florida State’s (12-6-1) powerful offense at the neutral-site match in Palo Alto, California.
Florida State is coming off a 5-0 romp over Ole Miss in the first round. Seminoles star Deyna Castellanos scored in the fourth minute and then again in the 28th.
Castellanos is a dangerous threat for any defense. She is the team’s top goal scorer with 17 this season; the Seminoles have played 19 games.
“She’s a really good player offensively and she’s going to cause some problems against us,” UA goalkeeper Lainey Burdett said. “We’re just going to have to shut her down and come up with saves.”
Arizona coach Tony Amato said he isn’t necessarily concerned by Florida State’s big offensive showing.
“Every game is different, every week’s different and every opponent is different,” Amato said. “I think we’ll present other challenges and hopefully play well and make it so that the game looks a little differently than it would have looked last week.”
Amato compared the Seminoles to other teams at the top of the Pac-12.
“Sometime as you get late in the season, teams can get satisfied with what they’ve done throughout the year,” Amato said. “It’s really important that our team is not in that place and we’re hungry and competitive and at a high level of competitive fire in order to get the win on Friday.”
Arizona also needs to be aware of Dallas Dorosy, who has eight goals this season.
“We have to be on point defensively,” Burdett said. “They will get shots off but I’m just going to have to be focused, as well as the defensive line.”
Arizona will try to pressure Florida State the same way it did TCU. That style causes opponents to panic and make mistakes, coaches and players say.
“It’s going to be a good game and basically a dogfight,” Burdett said. “We’re going to have to be up for it and be competitive, play the whole 90 minutes and just play Arizona soccer.”