The ASU women’s soccer team tied Washington (7-6-4, 3-1-4 Pac-12) on Friday and lost against Washington State (10-3-3, 4-3-1 Pac-12) on its home field on Sunday.
ASU (8-7-1, 3-4-1) continued its offensive funk and was held scoreless in both games. The Sun Devils haven’t scored in the past four games, and have tallied just four goals in the last nine games.
Sophomore forward Cali Farquharson, the team’s leading goal-scorer with nine goals, hasn’t scored a goal in the past nine games. Before the slump kicked in, Farquharson had nine goals in the team’s first seven games.
“Cali’s been stuck on the number nine for a long time and it’s in her head,” said ASU coach Kevin Boyd. “She’s getting her chances and just missing. I thought she did great in the first half (against WSU). She created some outstanding chances, two I thought were in, missed just wide of the post, so she’s just slightly off. But I love what she did the first half, the second half I think she got tired.”
Farquharson has been stung with some unfortunate luck. A lot of her shots have been near-goals, bouncing off the crossbar or just wide or resulting in good keeper saves.
She agreed with Boyd’s assessment that the slump is in her head. She said repetition in practice would help get her out of the slump.
In addition to Farquharson, senior forward Devin Marshall, ASU’s second-leading scorer, has scored only one goal in the team’s last 11 games. She exploded for four goals in the weekend just prior to the start of her slump.
So where have the team’s goals been coming from?
In conference games, Marshall scored in the opener, but hasn’t scored since. Sophomore forward Sara Tosti has scored twice, including an impressive game-winner against then-No. 2 Stanford. Senior defender Kaitlyn Pavlovich scored on a set piece against Cal.
“I don’t think there’s any secret recipe or anything like that,” Boyd said. “You just have to keep creating chances and at some point … you’re going to get it and stick it away.”
Boyd said before the games against UW and WSU that ASU probably needed to win three of its final five games to make the postseason. These prolonged slumps are severely damaging ASU’s NCAA tournament aspirations.
After ASU’s loss to WSU on Sunday, Boyd reiterated that his team needs to win three more games to qualify for the NCAA tournament. That means ASU would have to win out against Colorado (12-4-1, 4-3-1 Pac-12) and Utah (8-3-6, 4-2-2 Pac-12) at home, and at Arizona (7-6-4, 2-5-1 Pac-12) to close the regular season.
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