Considering the veteran experience and promising start, ASU soccer's 2015 season will go down as one of its most disappointing ever.
ASU's roster boasted a prolific senior class led by forward Cali Farquharson, defender McKenzie Berryhill and goalie Chandler Morris, but the team finished just 9-8-1 after a seven-game losing streak.
Some will use injury as an excuse. Losing Farquharson, the team's leading goal scorer, for four games certainly did hurt. As did losing senior midfielder Tommi Goodman for the season. But you know what? They won't be there next year.
With the rough season, combined with the uncertain future (2016 looks like a rebuilding year), The State Press thought it was time to evaluate the program.
In nine seasons, ASU soccer is 84-74-21 (.528), including 34-46-11 (.434) in conference play under head coach Kevin Boyd. ASU has been to four NCAA Tournaments with one tournament victory in that time. In the previous nine seasons, ASU was 95-69-15 (.573) and 38-37-6 (.506) in Pac-10 play.
His resume most closely reflects former ASU men’s basketball coach Herb Sendek's.
Sendek and Boyd were both coaching a Power Five school for 10 years before joining ASU (Boyd with Cal, Sendek with North Carolina State). Sendek lasted nine seasons at ASU before being fired, and this was of course Boyd’s ninth year with the program.
|Overall winning percentage||52.8%||53.7%|
|Conference winning percentage||43.4%||44.4%|
|NCAA Tournament appearances||4||2|
|NCAA Tournament victories||1||1|
Boyd has been to the NCAA Tournament two more times than Sendek, but Sendek earned a No. 1 seed in the 2008 and 2010 NIT, which means ASU was one of the last teams to be left out.
ASU soccer can't sustain success, alternating between good and bad seasons in every year since 2010, and even the success it's having is modest, just like the basketball program under Sendek.
Any set of data needs to be put in proper context. For ASU athletics, comparing the program against the others in the Pac-12 accomplishes this.
UCLA and Stanford have dominated the conference during Boyd's tenure (although the Bruins had an uncharacteristic down season in 2015). Both have won a national title in the past five seasons. USC also won it all in 2007.
With a 43.4 winning percentage in conference play, ASU ranks slightly below the average at seventh. Its four tournament appearances are also seventh (tied with Colorado) but the lone NCAA Tournament victory is only ahead of Utah and Oregon.
The Sun Devils have been so average for so long that it might be time to re-evaluate the head coaching position. At the very least, ASU should be wondering whether it can achieve more.
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