The ASU men’s soccer team completed an undefeated season Sunday afternoon, beating NAU 3-0.
The team was 4-0 when it traveled to Tucson to face UA several weeks back. It came away with a tie in a very physical game that seemed to wake the team up from its complacency after a great start to the season.
Men’s coach Eisa Shamroukh said he was disappointed with the team’s attitude heading into that game and made sure his players knew it.
From that point, ASU has scored nine goals and has not given any up in the last three games.
Last week, ASU traveled to NAU and easily won by a 5-0 score.
On Sunday, the team remained focused on finishing out the season against NAU in the same fashion it won last weekend.
ASU came into Sunday’s game knowing it had clinched first place with an eight-point lead in its conference.
“Today we’re going to go out and enjoy ourselves. “ Shamroukh said. “I want the guys to have fun, but we still have a job to do, and we want to remain undefeated.”
Shamroukh said he would play two different squads in this game; one in each half to further evaluate players heading into regionals next week in New Mexico. Shamroukh said he hopes the players enjoy themselves in the last game of the season, because next week, the real season begins.
Junior forward Ibrahima Diop continues to nurse a hamstring injury that has limited his minutes all season. On top of that injury, Diop suffered another injury to his left foot in Tucson two weeks ago.
Diop said the injuries have been frustrating, but that the team continues to play well in his absence. He said he just wants to get as close to fully healthy as possible before regionals.
“Hopefully by next week I’ll be better.” Diop said. “It’s a team sport, and I trust my teammates, and if they’re taking care of business on the field, then I don’t have to be playing hurt.”
Diop said he is focused on getting healthy and being ready for nationals.
Shamroukh said Diop’s injury has limited his minutes and will rest him as much as possible leading into regionals next week.
ASU was a completely different team this Sunday afternoon from the team that beat UTEP 4-0 two weeks ago.
The team was communicating much better than it had all year and played with a loose and free style throughout.
Senior midfielder Connor Birkhold started things off for ASU with a nice goal in the 37th minute to put the Sun Devils up 1-0.
The second half was no contest as the fresh legs of ASU were too much for the tired NAU team who did not have any players left for substitutions.
ASU kept the intensity high as it pummeled NAU goalie Kevin Radisak with shot after shot resulting in six shots on goal and a total of 11 shots on the game.
Freshman Jefferson dos Santos added a header on a beautiful cross to score in the 48th minute putting ASU ahead by two scores.
ASU stayed on its opponent’s side of the field and in the 69th minute sophomore midfielder Tyler Tomashek added another easy score to put the team up by three goals.
NAU looked overmatched and sluggish as ASU played an aggressive attacking style that limited the Lumberjacks to just one shot on goal in the first half and only two shots in the entire game.
ASU finished the season with an undefeated record of 7-0-1.
No. 1 ASU travels to New Mexico to face No. 4 New Mexico Tech in the first game of the Regional Tournament.
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