ASU soccer fans who want to see their team in action live again are going to have to wait.
For three consecutive weekends spanning five games, ASU (6-3) won’t play at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. Next weekend, the Sun Devils head to the Bay Area for showdowns against No. 11 Cal (6-0-3) and No. 2 Stanford (8-0-1).
After that, ASU travels to the Oregon schools, and the trip concludes the following weekend against No. 4 UCLA.
That stretch of games is nothing short of brutal, and the Sun Devils are going to need to learn to win away from home to keep their season afloat, coach Kevin Boyd said.
“That’s a tough stretch,” Boyd said. “I think it’s three times every 10 years each team gets three road (trips) in a row like that. This happens to be our year, us and UA. Boy that’s hard. Every team that does that has a rough time.”
At 6-3 and 1-0 in the conference, ASU secured a win it needed in the conference opener against USC (5-4-1) before the difficult trek.
“We’re now sitting at 6-3, 10 games remaining,” Boyd said. “We got six on the road and four at home, so we’re going to have to earn some victories on the road to get ourselves in the playoffs.”
Offense slowing down with unlucky breaks
It was inevitable that a slowdown in ASU’s scoring production would occur as the season progressed.
ASU scored 2.57 goals per game in its first seven games, and sophomore forward Cali Farquharson was a major contributor with nine goals in the team’s first seven games.
Although it’s a relatively small sample size, ASU has just one goal in its last two games. Those games were played over a nine-day span, a lengthy stretch for a sport that generally plays two games in a weekend.
Still, Farquharson appears just as explosive as ever. However, it looks like she and ASU are not receiving favorable bounces. Twice against USC her shots hit the post or crossbar.
The rest of the team is also having tough luck with the post and crossbar. With a little better accuracy, though, they will probably get back on track.
Marshall taken out, returns to score winning goal
It appears that in every game, senior forward Devin Marshall is taken out with an injury. Sometimes she returns; sometimes she doesn’t.
That situation occurred again in the second half of ASU’s 1-0 victory over USC. Marshall took a direct hit from a soccer ball kicked about a foot away from her face.
“She was about a foot away from me, and I went to block it, and she just volleyed it in my face,” Marshall said. “I got a little bit of a bloody nose. I think it just scared me more so since my broken nose last year (against Baylor). I’m concussion-prone, so they kind of had to take me out to make sure I didn’t have a concussion.”
Marshall returned a few minutes later and would later score ASU’s winning goal with 19 seconds left.
Reach the reporter at justin.Janssen@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @jjanssen11