Chalk this one up as a game they should have won.
The ASU women’s soccer team dominated Washington on Friday, yet the schools finished in a scoreless draw.
The Sun Devils (8-6-1, 3-3-1 Pac-12) outshot the Huskies (7-6-3, 3-1-3 Pac-12) 26-10, but couldn’t convert on any of their chances.
Scoring in Pac-12 conference games comes at a premium, meaning the quality of shots is more important than the quantity of opportunities.
Both ASU coach Kevin Boyd and senior forward Devin Marshall, who led the team with 11 shots, thought the Sun Devils’ scoring chances weren’t dangerous enough and came from too far away.
“A lot of our shots came from 20, 25 (yards) out, and they had a good size keeper,” Marshall said. “It’s just a matter of taking our time and setting up the right chances.”
It’s generally assumed in soccer that every 10 shots should produce a single goal.
On another day, Boyd said if his team earned that many shots, that he would expect two or three goals.
“For us to not get a goal, that’s just an unusual night,” Boyd said. “We need to get closer to goal, we need to get inside the 18 (yard box) and shoot a little bit more. The closer you get, the higher the percentage, naturally.”
In the first half, sophomore forward Cali Farquharson and senior midfielder Blair Alderson both took shots that bounced off the crossbar.
“I asked why we were going high so much, part of it is we just miss-hit it,” Boyd said. “It felt like, especially in the first half, the keeper was off her line, meaning she was giving up the top half of the goal. If they’re making decisions like that I’m good with it.”
Boyd praised a stringent Huskies defense, which has allowed just three goals in seven conference games, for keeping the Sun Devils off the board.
“You got to give credit to the Washington team,” Boyd said. “They didn’t let us have anything in deeper. They retreated a bit, built up a wall and only gave us space in front of them. It’s hard to score on that. It’s why they’ve done so well in terms of the defensive side of things.”
The Sun Devils have a flair for last-minute wins, eking out two wins in the final minute of regulation or in golden-goal overtime this season. Against the Huskies, another dramatic finish ensued.
This time, ASU’s last-gasp chance for a win came with three minutes remaining in the final overtime. Senior midfielder Holland Crook headed the ball from the far side of the field with a trajectory into the goal and the keeper out of position.
“I saw it and I was like ‘Does that have enough juice to get there?’” Boyd said.
A UW defender saved the day by kicking the ball out of bounds, and ASU didn’t get a good look on the ensuing corner kick.
“We have a tradition of pulling through in the last couple of seconds,” senior defender Kaitlyn Pavlovich said, “but that didn’t happen tonight.”
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