Cali Farquharson picked a pretty good time to break her slump.
The ASU soccer team (9-7-2, 4-4-2 Pac-12) was tied with Utah (9-4-6, 5-3-2 Pac-12) in double overtime when the sophomore forward found the back of the net, scoring for the first time in 11 games.
“The weight of the world has come off her shoulders,” ASU coach Kevin Boyd said. “It became this huge mountain, and I kept trying to downplay it for her so that she wouldn’t feel so much pressure.”
Farquharson scored nine goals in ASU’s first seven games but hadn’t scored in the 10 games since. She scored on her only shot of the game Sunday, which came after she stole a Utah pass that was headed back to the goalie.
Utah’s goalie was positioned well off her line, allowing Farquharson to easily convert the scoring chance.
“I knew (the Utah player) was going to pass it back to (the goalie), so I just followed her pass,” Farquharson said. “I shot it, and it was going in, and I knew it was going in, so I started cheering.”
Normally back-passes aren’t dangerous, but this was the 1 percent of time that they are dangerous, Boyd said.
“I think that they were trying to play that keeper back and just didn’t get it enough,” Boyd said. “That’s not really a keeper’s error. I think 99 percent of the time they play her hard enough that she can hit the ball out of bounds.”
The Sun Devils overcame adversity just by getting the game into overtime. ASU trailed 1-0 until a late comeback possibly saved its NCAA tournament hopes.
With 3:18 left in regulation, ASU scored the equalizer on senior defender Kaitlyn Pavlovich’s header. With three goals on set piece headers, including two this weekend, Pavlovich has become quite the finisher when it comes to free kicks and corner kicks.
“She’s been putting her head on the ball so well on set pieces,” Boyd said. “We spent some time this week just concentrating on her literally heading the ball into the ground, banging it down.”
It was senior day at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium, and for Pavlovich, the goal felt extra special since it’s the team’s last home game of the season.
“It’s our last game playing on this field for the six of us seniors that were out there,” Pavlovich said. “I think that we had the momentum going in our favor, and we took advantage of it. It was really a team effort because, had we not got up here to get the corner in the first place, (the win) would have never happened.”
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @jjanssen11