Considering the multitude of recent injuries, ASU’s women’s soccer team (4-5) played great in a 1-0 loss to No. 17 California (8-1) in Berkley.
For the most part, ASU’s defense held up the prolific Golden Bear attack.
“I thought the defense as a whole played very well, obviously we gave up a goal, so that part I’m not too happy about,” ASU head coach Kevin Boyd said.
For the fourth consecutive game neither team scored in the first half, combining for just seven shots.
However, ASU began to show fatigue in the second half, due to a lack of substitutions. At the same time, California subbed out players regularly.
“I think we played really well, especially considering all the injuries we’re dealing with,” goalie Alyssa Gillmore said. “We all just came out and just tried to come out and play with character and play with heart the whole game. And I think we played really well doing that.”
ASU had six starters play the full 90 minutes, while the Golden Bears had just two.
“Cal’s team is really deep, so they were able to sub players and keep people fresh and we didn’t have that luxury,” Boyd said.
With fresh players coming off the bench, California took the lead midway through the second half. In the 74th minute, California midfielder Katie Suits took a shot that deflected off of Gillmore. Forward Grace Leer followed up the shot and buried it into the net.
“We had people in front to try to block the first shot and then I got a tip on it, but they had another girl following up the shot that put it in,” Gillmore said. “It was just kind of an unlucky moment that happened.”
Coming into play against ASU, California had averaged 3.75 goals per game, but on Friday was held to just one goal on 13 shots. In comparison, ASU took nine shots, but just two of them were on goal.
Junior forward Sierra Cook took three shots and senior defender Kari Shane shot the ball twice, but neither had a shot that was on frame.
The Sun Devils had a limited amount of scoring opportunities. Whether it was a shot that hit off the crossbar, too many passes in the box, or another little mistake, they just couldn’t put the ball in.
“The attacking third, we’d get there, we just weren’t that dangerous when we got there and that’s normal when you’ve got so many forwards that are out injured,” Boyd said. “You’re plugging other people in those spots.
“I wish we would have held them, kept it at 0-0 the whole way through and see if we could find the goal.”
The match against California was the only game of the weekend for ASU, meaning they will use the extra days off to get healthy.
The Cal-ASU soccer game was the first soccer game between teams in the newly formed Pac-12 conference.
Reach the reporter at Justin.Janssen@asu.edu
Click here to subscribe to
the daily State Press newsletter.