The ASU men’s club soccer team is off and running thus far in its season.
Coming off a 1-1 record over the weekend, the Sun Devils (6-3-1) continue to put up big numbers in their wins.
Four of their six victories have been by a margin of three or more goals.
“I feel we are the best team in the (Southwest Conference) thus far,” coach Eisa Shamroukh said.
The weekend doubleheader started off with the in-state rivalry with UA in Tucson, with the Sun Devils coming on top with a 2-0 victory.
“I liked our intensity and heart in the game,” Shamroukh said.
Unfortunately, the winning streak would end Saturday night against the University of Texas El Paso at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex field.
ASU lost 2-1 in a physical, emotional battle in the second half.
The Sun Devils put multiple shots on goal, but UTEP’s goaltender seemed to handle the heat with ease as many of the shots went arrant.
At the end of the first half, the game remained scoreless with tough defense dominating on both sides.
ASU switched goalkeepers in the second half, removing Fernando Juarez for Che Tentora, but the scoring drought didn’t last much longer.
UTEP came out firing in the second half, putting shots on goal before scoring several minutes in.
Tentora was injured on a play as he came out to play the ball and collided with one of UTEP’s forwards, staying on the ground several minutes before being removed from the game.
Following some controversial penalties, ASU seemed to fall apart with emotional physicality against UTEP.
“Emotions definitely got in the way of the game for us,” Shamroukh said. “Stoppages for penalties killed our momentum.”
Penalty after penalty stacked up leading to another goal on a free kick from the left corner of the penalty box.
After going up 2-0, UTEP seemed to put away the victory early on ASU.
ASU had other ideas, as they battled until the very end scoring a goal with 4:30 remaining on the game clock.
Once again, fires were lit as a tripping foul was called on ASU leading to pushing and shoving by both teams.
Emotional frustration was running at an all time high at the end of the game for ASU.
Shots continued to be thrown on goal, but the Sun Devils couldn’t find the back of the net as time winded down.
Shamroukh was pleased with his team’s ability to battle, but wished it came out earlier.
“Our intensity has been great, but (it) needs to stay consistent,” Shamroukh said.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com