The sun beat down on Sun Devil Soccer Stadium during a blisteringly hot morning in Tempe, as the ASU women’s soccer team ran through drills in intense 109-degree heat.
The heat will indeed be ASU’s friend when game time comes, as the team’s nonconference opponents will not be used to the same rather harsh conditions the Sun Devils are.
Boyd stressed that his players are working on a lot of little things, especially on getting his defensive line where they should be.
“We’ve been leaking goals still,” Boyd said. “Right now, we are still in the defend and possess stage. The team is starting slow. We’re not getting stuck in right away; we’re not defending with power; we’re not as organized; we’re not as energetic. We’re not bringing ourselves and influencing the game immediately and trying to put the other team on their heels.”
On the other hand, the offense is deep and could help the Sun Devils be a sleeper in the Pac-12 this season.
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“We have a number of weapons this year, and that’s becoming clear,” Boyd said.
Being back home not only means home-field advantage for the Sun Devils, it’s also a respite from travel and a return to a somewhat normal college schedule.
“It’s sleeping in their own beds. It’s them on a routine. It’s them going to class,” Boyd said. “Being home and going to class for a full week will make an enormous difference for stress.”
Junior forward Cali Farquharson wasn’t on the field much at practice and spent most of her time with her feet either in an ice bucket or in a cast.
“It’s just a precaution for this upcoming weekend,” Farquharson said. “Honestly, I’m just so happy just to be back. It was such a relief. I’m just glad that I got a couple goals.”
Her focus for the upcoming homestand is simple: lead a dynamic line of forwards and midfielders to take pressure off the defense.
“My game plan is to be a threat and just work hard,” Farquharson said.
The Sun Devils host Oklahoma State on Friday, Sept. 5, at 4 p.m. in the first round of the Sun Devil Classic in Tempe.
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