ASU soccer team wins big over No. 22 Washington State

The ASU soccer team maintained momentum to win 3-1

Three goals scored within a 10 minute span late in the game pushed the ASU women's soccer team (7-5-1) to a 3-1 win over No. 22 Washington State (10-4-0) at Sun Devil Stadium on Thursday.

The Sun Devils' win not only marked their first over a ranked opponent this year, but head coach Graham Winkworth said the win proved the team's ability to compete at that same level of high-caliber teams.

While the aggressive Cougar offense created opportunities to score throughout the first half, the Sun Devils' defense kept the game scoreless until Cougars freshman forward Molly Myers found the back of the net at the 44th minute for a 1-0 lead.

However, at the start of the second half the tables turned on the pitch.

"From front to back you can see our strikers chasing the ball down," Winkworth said. "The organization from our back line playing a different formation, I was really proud of the girls efforts today." 

Despite a hungry ASU, the Cougars' red shirt junior goalkeeper Emma Dahline was there to stop them, earning three critical saves between the 46th and 68th minute.

A sudden break in the Cougars defense at the 72nd minute allowed for Sun Devils' freshman midfielder Marleen Schimmer to even the score at 1-1.     

At the 77th minute, the light at then end of the tunnel seemed to get even brighter for the Sun Devils when an assist from senior defender Jemma Purfield connected to freshman midfielder Eva Van Deursen for the 2-1 lead.

"We got told if we get on the ball higher up as wing backs there ... would be space behind their (WSU) back four," Purfield said on her assist goal. "And If I can get it in behind, there would have been runners on to it, so I put it in behind, and it was a fantastic run from Eva (Van Deursen) and a great finish." 

The Sun Devils' offense would strike once again at the 81st minute when senior forward Natalie Stephens, who played only 15 minutes, secured a 3-1 lead for the team.

"Super exciting," Stephens said on her first goal of the season. "It's been a long time coming. I've been training my ass off."

With only minutes remaining in the match, the Cougars weren't ready to give in to defeat just yet and showed an even tougher offense.

Both the Sun Devils and Cougars combined together for six yellow cards. 

ASU will continue their momentum when they host the Washington Huskies on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.

Reach the reporter at or follow @Noriega_Edith on Twitter. 

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