ASU soccer plays host to Cowboys, Aggies in weekend tourney

Goal Keeper Chandler Morris kicks off the ball during a scrimmage at Reach 11. (Photo by Arianna Grainey)

Goal Keeper Chandler Morris kicks off the ball during a scrimmage at Reach 11. (Photo by Arianna Grainey)

ASU soccer’s weekend matchups both offer the Sun Devils (2-1-1) a formidable test at home, highlighted by Sunday’s game against undefeated Texas A&M.

Before playing the Aggies, ASU head coach Kevin Boyd prepared his team to take on the Oklahoma State Cowgirls Friday night in Tempe, the Sun Devil’s season opener.

“Friday night’s opponent (Oklahoma State) is far better than their record shows,” said Boyd. “They are 0-4, (but) they’ve played four ranked teams, they’ve played them tight, and they just got their star player back this last weekend. They are going to be good. We are doing everything we can to prepare for them.”

ASU’s back line will be busy accounting for sophomore forward Courtney Dike, who was OSU’s top scorer last season. Dike is not the only offensive threat for the Cowgirls, as junior forward Allie Stephenson, sophomore forward Krissi Killion and junior midfielder Madison Mercado all scored four or more goals last season.

On Sunday, ASU will play Texas A&M, who will be playing its first away tournament. The Aggies boast a perfect 4-0 record and are looking to extend their winning streak.

“We played them last year so we know what they are bringing,” Boyd said. “We know they are really a top five team in the country this year, which is a great opportunity for us. We relish getting to play teams like that, and come Saturday I’ll be looking forward to presenting to our team what we are going to see and how we are going to play.”

Senior forwards Kelley Monogue and Shea Groom have scored five and four goals respectively thus far this season, showing that their experience plays a huge role in their ability to score.

Last season’s top goal scorer for the Cowgirls, junior forward Annie Kunz, has yet to get on the scoreboard this season.

Boyd has made defense a priority at practices, recognizing that this aspect of the game has posed itself a problem, wanting to combat the offensive prowess of opponents.

“We’ve been leaking goals still,” Boyd said. “Right now, we are still in the defend and possess stage. We’re not bringing ourselves (up) and influencing the game immediately, and trying to put the other team on their heels.”

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.

 

Reach the reporter at mtsteine@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @MarcTSteiner

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