Brynn Moga has played in just 10.3 percent of Arizona’s games this season.
Still, the UA junior’s energy has been felt by every teammate — and almost every opponent.
Take last week’s game against No. 1 Stanford. The Wildcats were trailing 1-0 midway through the second half when coach Tony Amato went to his bench. He summoned Moga specifically because of her moxie — something the UA was lacking on the road. Moga played 17 second-half minutes at forward in what would be a 2-0 loss.
“I haven’t been playing as much as I would like to, but I think that when I do go in, I create a lot of energy,” said Moga, who’s typically a defender. “You have to be fearless and put everything out there.”
Moga and the Wildcats will face Utah on Thursday night at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium. The UA (7-2 overall, 0-1 Pac-12) will follow that with a Sunday afternoon home match against Colorado. The weekend series is a chance to get back in the win column. Utah is 3-5-1 overall and 0-1 in conference play. Colorado is 9-0-1 and 1-0.
“We just need to take it game by game and not dwell on any losses,” junior defender Samantha Falasco said.
That means using the team’s depth to its advantage. Seventeen players have seen the field in seven or more games this season. Two more players — Moga and Hailey Mazzola — have appeared in six. Bench players have specific roles, Moga said.
“We’re known for giving everything that we have, and the team knows when it’s time to step up the energy,” Moga said. “We know that every game from now on is going to be really hard, but we’re excited.”
Moga is set to play the back ends of both the Utah and Colorado games. The UA expects her to play with liveliness. It’s something that’s become her trademark since she was a standout at Phoenix’s Sunnyslope High School. Moga started 11 matches as a Wildcats freshman before taking on a bench role. She played in seven matches a year ago as the Wildcats made it to the NCAA Tournament’s second round.
Moga may not start, but she contributes in a different — and important — way.
“She brings so much energy to the team,” Falasco said. “Her running around pressing the defenders really helps us a lot. She’ll do whatever she can for the team.”