TUCSON, Ariz. – Washington (7-6-4, 3-1-4 Pac-12) let a two-goal lead slip away, but did manage a 2-2 draw at Arizona (7-6-4, 2-5-1 Pac-12). Kate Bennett and Havana McElvaine scored big goals for the Huskies who finished the road portion of the conference season unbeaten.
The tie keeps Washington in the thick of a jumbled Pac-12 race. UCLA has created some distance at the top, but the Dawgs remain right there tied with Colorado, just behind Stanford who is in second place.
“We knew they were going to be pretty direct and dangerous on restarts,” said head coach Lesle Gallimore. “It was a little disappointing to let them back in the game, but they put the pressure on us. It’s tough when you feel like you had a game won, but getting a point on the road is still a good result.”
The Dawgs got on the board first when Kate Bennett scored with a shot from just outside of the box. Bennett has sparked the Husky offense in recent weeks, scoring her fourth goal of the season. Her 20th-minute blast was assisted by Lindsay Elston and gave the Huskies the 1-0 lead. The assist for Elston was her team-leading fifth of the season.
“It was a Kate Bennet goal,” said Gallimore. “She turned at the top of the box and hit a great shot.”
Washington would take the single-goal lead to the break, despite being outshot, 7-3. Megan Kufeld made two saves and the Husky defense held the Wildcats without any great chances.
Just 4:10 into the second half, Washington added to the lead on free kick from Havana McElvaine. McElvaine sent in a long curling ball from near midfield that found its way into the net. It appeared if the ball may have taken a deflection, but nevertheless McElavaine was credited with the goal. It was the second of the season from the freshman defender and gave the Huskies a two-goal advantage.
Trailing by two, Arizona began sending players forward as they desperately tried to tie it. Similar to the Husky men, Arizona used a flip throw any chance they could get to put the ball in the box, creating dangerous chances. The Wildcats would outshoot Washington 11-3 for the half and get back in it in the 64th minute with a goal from Alexandra Doller.
Doller shot from just outside the box with the Huskies in good defensive position, but unable to step forward and make the block.
The Wildcats continued to pressure and the tired legs of Washington started to show late in the half. The Dawgs had done well all game to thwart the flip throw, but with 16 seconds left Arizona broke through. Jaden Degracie sent a long throw into the box that Kaitlyn Lopez finished to tie the score.
“The backline had done so well,” said Gallimore. “They just needed to focus for 16 more seconds.”
In overtime, Arizona continued to pressure, but Washington held strong and earned the tie. After an overtime game on Friday night, the Dawgs were showing fatigue, but refused to give in and walk away with nothing to show for their efforts.
The draw keeps the Husky postseason hopes alive as they now will return home for the final three games at the Husky Soccer Stadium. With games against Stanford, Cal and Washington State – the Dawgs will have thier chances to earn the wins against tournament-type teams. The first chance will come Thursday, Halloween night, when Stanford comes to Seattle for a 7 p.m. game.