The streak is alive.
The ASU soccer team remains unbeaten in its last seven games after defeating both No. 20 University of California Santa Barbara (6-4-0) and Long Beach State (6-2-3) this weekend in Tempe.
The Sun Devils (6-2-3), which hadn’t topped a ranked opponent in the last two years, recognized their chance against UCSB and came through with a 1-0 win.
“We really knew we needed to get one,” coach Kevin Boyd said. “So we targeted [UCSB] as the one we wanted. They were No. 20 coming into the game and we felt like it was a game we could take.”
In Friday’s game, sophomore midfielder Alexandra Elston scored her second goal in as many games on a pass from senior forward Carla Scanniello to secure the win.
“Any time you have that, it’s exciting,” Boyd said.
Sunday, the team had a slow start against CSULB, but found a way to turn it around in the second half, winning 1-0. Boyd praised Elston for playing through a minor injury in the second half.
CSULB was coming off of a 2-0 win at UA Friday.
Freshman defender Kate Sangster played a key in role in shutting out CSULB.
“We focused on two specific areas at halftime – do a better job at first and second balls, specifically second balls and keeping possession,” Boyd said. “I thought we did both of those better.
“[Sangster] did very well in the second half closing her player down.
She eliminated her player from causing problems. Little things like that change the impact of a game.”
Sangster said she was pleased with the overall play of the team.
“We possessed it a lot more,” Sangster said. “We put passes together and the forwards were a lot more dynamic. We picked it up and played a lot better.”
The winning goal came from sophomore forward Karin Volpe’s shot to the back of the net in the second half.
“[Volpe] had a chance in the first half,” Boyd said. “I turned to the assistant and I was like ‘she needs to put those balls away – that’s what finishers do.’ Well, she got one chance in the second half and she put it away—that’s a good sign and I hope she keeps that confidence and composure and keeps putting it away.”
Volpe’s goal is her sixth on the season, which improves upon her team high of five from last year.
“It’s exciting,” Volpe said. “It’s a good win for us, and it was good to sweep the weekend. Now we will go into the Pac-10 with four-plus wins.”
Reach the reporter at email@example.com.