It was just the first game, but the ASU women’s soccer team started its season in the right direction.
ASU defeated CSU Northridge 2-0 in its season opener, behind goals from sophomore forwards Cali Farquharson and Sara Tosti.
Last season, ASU lost to the Matadors and stumbled out of the gate to a 1-4-1 early-season record.
“It’s definitely good coming off a loss from them last season, and it’s good starting the season off with a win,” Tosti said.
ASU coach Kevin Boyd said the Sun Devils had difficulty countering the opposition’s 4-5-1 scheme early on, meaning CSU Northridge used four defenders, five midfielders and one forward. ASU regularly plays in a 4-3-3 formation.
“We didn’t deal with that high pressure early on,” Boyd said. “We started playing real well when they got fatigued and the game opened up.”
CSU Northridge forward Kendall Moskal had a dangerous chance from point-blank range in the 3rd minute, but ASU redshirt sophomore goalie Chandler Morris made the save with a deflection.
Morris had four saves for the game, and ASU outshot CSU Northridge 12-8 in the victory.
Despite the shutout, Boyd said there were areas for improvement for the Sun Devils’ defense, particularly on-ball decisions, though he was pleased they didn’t give up a goal.
“They got a clean sheet, and there’s a lot to be said for that,” Boyd said. “There was a couple real scary moments where they extended themselves.”
In the 28th minute, ASU senior forward Jessica Domenichelli burned a Matador defender, kicking the ball through her legs on the left wing, and then crossed to Farquharson.
Farquharson converted the scoring chance and scored her first goal of the season. She now has a goal in four consecutive games dating back to last season.
In the second half, ASU added a cushion goal when senior midfielder Holland Crook passed to Tosti down the middle on a fast break play.
“As soon as she (Crook) got it, their center back was pushed up so there was a gap between their center back and outside back,” Tosti said.
Tosti had the inside track and beat the goalie 1-on-1 for the first goal of her career.
ASU next plays Aug. 30 in College Station against No. 12 Texas A&M.
Reach the reporter at Justin.Janssen@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @JJanssen11