When an offense and defense click on all cylinders, it can be a beautiful thing to watch.
The ASU soccer team has played well on offense and defense at times, just not concurrently.
In a 4-0 rout over Kansas (3-2-1), ASU (4-1) flashed its potential once both sides of the ball started functioning to their capabilities.
In the Sun Devils’ previous game, Friday’s victory over Illinois, the offense exploded with four goals as well, but they also gave up three in a game that was a lot closer than it needed to be.
“We got a lot of goals on Friday night but we also gave up a lot of goals,” said senior forward Devin Marshall. “Today we came out and we wanted to get that shutout.”
Marshall scored four goals in the tournament, two goals in each victory, and got the Sun Devils on the board seven minutes in against Kansas.
Senior attacking midfielder Holland Crook blew past a Jayhawks defender and crossed to Marshall who headed the ball into the net.
Marshall and ASU had a variety of chances in the first half, but went into the locker room leading just by the single goal.
Kansas couldn’t get into any kind of offensive rhythm in the final third of the field, and had no shots on goal in the first half.
“Defensively I thought we were much better today,” coach Kevin Boyd said. “I thought we were just better organized, better committed, we did better on first and second balls specifically.”
In the second half, ASU padded the lead when sophomore forward Sara Tosti tripped in the box resulting in a penalty kick.
Sophomore forward Cali Farquharson converted on ASU’s first penalty kick of the season, beating the keeper to her right, and has now scored in eight consecutive games dating back to last season.
Marshall said that Crook was supposed to be taking penalty kicks for ASU, but Crook wasn’t in the game at the time. Marshall said she then told Farquharson to go get her goal.
The combination of Marshall and Farquharson has been difficult for opponents to stop. At one point, 10 straight ASU goals came from the duo.
Senior midfielder Blair Alderson jumped into the scoring party less than three minutes after Farquharson.
Alderson collected the ball from just outside the penalty box, spun around, and drilled the ball in same spot of the net that Farquharson did.
Marshall scored again late in the second half, but that point the rout was already on, and the Sun Devils used the time to put in their reserve forwards.
“It was really fun for a lot people getting more playing time in,” Alderson said. “It’s always good to see other forwards, other midfielders coming in and getting some goals and offensive play going.”
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