ASU women's soccer opens Pac-12 play with a win against Oregon State

Christina Edwards' goal puts the Sun Devils past Oregon State

ASU women’s soccer (4-4-1, 1-0 Pac-12) defeated Oregon State University 2-1 (3-4-2, 0-1 Pac-12) to open Pac-12 Conference play.

ASU outshot the Beavers 18-14, and ASU freshman keeper Nikki Panas tallied nine saves on the night.

The Sun Devils maintained possession against a competitive team, and the defense was aggressive in pressing Oregon State’s back four in their own defensive third.

ASU head coach Graham Winkworth said that he thought his team performed well in its first conference game. 

“It’s the best performance of the season," Winkworth said. "It’s really nice to get our first Pac-12 victory.” 

Undeterred by a scoreless first half, the Sun Devils took the lead early in the second half with a simple finish from ASU junior left back Jemma Purfield, who found herself alone in the penalty area. 

Senior forward Jazmarie Mader was credited with the assist as she fed the ball to Purfield following a precise combination play between two.

Purfield explained that the reason she was allowed to make the run into the penalty area unmarked on her goal was because Oregon State tucked an extra midfielder inside and left a whole flank for her to exploit. 

“We just realized they were giving us that space," Purfield said. "Their wingers were tucking in on our midfielders, and it was leaving us wide players open. I just knew I had to get forward. I saw the space. I attacked it, and I got to put it in the back of the net.” 

ASU continued on to dominate possession and double their lead in the 81st minute with a phenomenal 25-yard strike from ASU sophomore forward Christina Edwards

“I originally did not think it went in, so I thought I was premature in the celebration,” Edwards said. “When I turned around, I saw my teammates cheering.”

Oregon State did manage to pull a goal back in the 84th minute when redshirt freshman midfielder Diana Santiago scored on what seemed like a routine save for Panas, yet was somehow mishandled and ended up in the back of the net. 

“She’s (Panas) gonna win us so many games in her career … she’s, for me, one of the best goalkeepers and will end up probably being one of the best goalkeepers in the country,” Winkworth said.

However, it was too little, too late for the Oregon State Beavers and the Sun Devils held on to their one-goal lead.

ASU will take on the Cal Bears in Berkeley on Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. MST.

Reach the reporter at or follow @hor_hay10 on Twitter.  

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