ASU soccer was taken down by No. 2 USC in a 3-1 loss

Defense held strong for Sun Devils, despite a 3-1 loss

The ASU soccer team (6-5-1) put up a fight early in the match but ultimately came up short in a 3-1 loss against the No. 2 USC Trojans (12-6-3) at McAlister Field on Sunday.    

In the first 25 minutes, both the Sun Devils and Trojans started off with near identical offensive strategies along with solid goalkeepers to keep the game scoreless.    

ASU's sophomore goalkeeper Nikki Panas racked up two crucial saves, whereas Trojans' redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Kaylie Collins earned four saves.   

ASU's defense held on for as long as it could until the 36th minute, when a short assist from Trojans' freshman midfielder Madeline Vergura made its way to redshirt sophomore midfielder Savannah DeMelo, who launched a long shot on goal at the top of the field for a 1-0 lead. 

By the end of the first half, ASU had only five shots and four shots on goal, but with plenty of soccer to be played, the team was still eyeing to tie the game.  

However, that would be interrupted when Trojans' junior defender Julia Bingham's low cross assist from the left side connected to freshman forward Penelope Hocking for a nonchalant goal in the 62nd minute that gave her team a 2-0 lead.        

Only shortly after would the Sun Devils finally have their moment in the 66th minute. 

Freshman forward Cori Sullivan's assist to senior forward Casey Martinez gave the team its first goal of the afternoon, cutting the deficit in half.

Despite the Sun Devils being down 2-1, the Trojan's would come out on top in the remaining minutes of the game. 

DeMelo's assist to redshirt sophomore forward Samantha Bruder gave USC an insurance goal, and an eventual 3-1 win in the 83rd minute.

Now in the home stretch of the season, ASU is set to host defending NCAA National Champion and No. 1 Stanford Cardinal on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. MST.


Reach the reporter at Edith.Noriega@asu.edu or follow @Noriega_Edith on Twitter. 

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