Friday ends the 2011 season for the ASU soccer team, and for five soccer players, their careers as a Sun Devil come to a close.
Defender Kari Shane, forward Sierra Cook, defender Courtney Giovanni, midfielder Nicole Acosta, and defender Kate Sangster all play their last game at rival UA.
The five had their jerseys painted onto the home field prior to Senior Night. They also received flowers in an emotional pre-game ceremony with their families in attendance.
Shane has the most experience of the group, appearing in 74 career games with 49 starts, and has tallied eight career assists.
Cook has blossomed in her final season, leading ASU with six goals and 14 points. Despite leading ASU in the major statistical categories, Cook has been in and out of the starting lineup for much of the season.
Acosta transferred from Paradise Valley Community College and played in the midfield for ASU the past two seasons. Acosta said she improved as a player at ASU more so than at a community college.
“I feel like I got a little better than I was at a community college and I learned a lot more,” Acosta said. “Right when I start to get the hang of it, I’m done (playing).”
Sangster has regained a starting position on the backline in her final season with sophomore defender Kaitlyn Pavlovich nursing a back injury.
Giovanni nabs surprise start
Prior to Sunday’s game against Washington, Giovanni played in just one career game in almost four years.
Giovanni has been hit with injuries in her career and is currently buried down in the depth chart.
But for one game, she lived the dream of starting a collegiate soccer game.
With her parents and younger sister in attendance, coach Kevin Boyd decided to give Giovanni the starting nod in the backline.
She played for 14 minutes before being replaced by junior defender Sierra Joseph.
Shane questionable for final game
Earlier last week, Shane suffered a concussion, but was cleared to play against Washington State on Friday.
Shane played all 107 minutes in the double-overtime loss, but suffered concussion-like symptoms immediately following the game.
Shane was held out of Sunday’s game against Washington in the team’s final home game, and is questionable for the final game at UA.
Stone’s eye swelled just prior to Senior Night
Redshirt sophomore forward Nicki Stone has had knee injuries for most of her time as a Sun Devil, but suffered a different kind of injury prior to the last game.
“Something happened with her eye and her contact to the point that her eye almost swelled completely shut before the game started,” Boyd said.
“Then it started opening up and it turned out her eyeball itself is swollen. Wouldn’t that figure? It’s got to be another thing.
“The point I was joking is ‘put an eye patch on.’ So we almost had a girl with an eye patch playing. That’s how this year’s been weird. It’s just been a really bizarre year.”
Reach the reporter at Justin.Janssen@asu.edu
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