ASU soccer fell 1-0 in a tight match against UA

The Sun Devils and Wildcats dueled in a Territorial Cup match-up on Friday night

A crucial offensive play made by the Arizona Wildcats (5-4-2 Pac-12) early in the match cost the ASU soccer team (5-4-1 Pac-12) a 1-0 Territorial Cup  loss on Friday.  

"I want to praise Arizona," head coach Graham Winkworth said about the Wildcats' performance. "They came out with an excellent game plan ... stopped us from playing. For the first 20 minutes we struggled to get out. Once we made some adjustments we were able to get out a little more and the game was very even."

Despite the loss, the Sun Devils will still remember the night for a more special moment that started out the evening, as the team honored seven seniors in front of a sold out crowd. 

However, as the night progressed, the Wildcats' aggressive approach granted them control of the ball in the first five minutes.  

After a sloppy first corner kick for the Wildcats in the 1st minute, they quickly redeemed themselves in the 6th minute when an assist by junior defender Samantha Falasco hit the top post before making its way to red shirt junior Morgan McGarry for the only goal of the night. 

Down 1-0, the Sun Devils tried to pull out all the stops to even out the score in the remanding first half. Freshman forward Marleen Schimmer racked up four shots while senior forward Casey Martinez had two.     

At the half, both ASU and Arizona were identical with three shots on goal.

The Sun Devils weren't able to rally back in the second half, and Schimmer would take the last shot of the night to end the rivalry battle.

Despite the loss, senior defender Jemma Purfield said the team has exceeded everyone's expectations from where they started in the season to where they are now.

"We can play with anyone," Purfield said. "Obviously we are disappointed with today, but we've had a lot positive results and a very positive season."

Even with the Sun Devils in a solid position to compete in their first NCAA Tournament since 2014, the loss against the Wildcats still carried an extra weight on the Captain.

"It's always hard to lose," an emotional Purfield said. "I've loved ASU. I've loved the last four years, and it's tough to lose. They (teammates) have been absolutely fantastic, they're are the reason why I've enjoyed every minute here the last three years."    

As the Sun Devils are set to close out regular season play on Sunday, Martinez said the team still has everything in the world to work for with their remaining match against the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal.

"We are going to have an attacking mentality," Martinez said. "We're not going to back down, just like we did today, we are going at them."

ASU will host Stanford on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. MST. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @Noriega_Edith on Twitter. 

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