After a long process of formation and practice, ASU women's lacrosse finally played in its first NCAA Division I game on Friday.
Junior attack Kerri Clayton's seven goal performance boosted the Sun Devils over the Kennesaw State Owls 14-6.
The Sun Devils never trailed throughout the entirety of the game.
“My teammates did a really awesome job of finding me because the defense wasn’t adjusting the way they should have been,” Clayton said. “When they did make adjustments they slide for the double and I was able to find my teammates and it was awesome.”
Freshman attack Graci Fulkerson got the Sun Devils on the board first striking the back of the net early in the first half.
After Kennesaw State freshman midfielder Marissa Gore answered back for the Owls, the Sun Devils went on a 3-0 run with goals from freshman attack Julia Burns, freshman midfielder Emily Glagolev and Clayton. Glagolev and Burns finished with two goals.
With the score at 4-1 the Owls scored two goals in 18 seconds to cut the Sun Devil lead to 4-3 with 7:15 left in the first half. Kennesaw State sophomore midfielder Izzy Palermo would finish the game with two goals. Clayton and Burns both scored to give ASU a 6-4 halftime lead.
Just 23 seconds into the second half, freshman midfielder Maddy Hunter buried a shot into the back of the net that put the Sun Devils up three points. Hunter went on to finish the game with two goals.
ASU would close out the second half on an 8-2 run, fueled by Clayton's five second half goals.
The Sun Devils took control on both sides of the ball in the second half. ASU scooped up 36 ground balls to Kennesaw State's 20, and committed eight less turnovers than the Owls.
Sophomore goalkeeper Berkely Bonneau played well between the pipes recording 10 saves.
“While we came out a little bit rough we took over in the second half,” said Bonneau. “We had a talk at halftime and were like, ‘Guys we have to put this out on the field’ and Coach told us what changes to make, everyone was adjusting to that and with our team being so coachable that was a reason why we were able to come out with such a high-scoring game.”
This marks the first win in the program's history.
“We’re super excited that we could begin our season with a win. It’s a big confidence boost and hopefully we’ll continue to compete for 60 minutes because I think that’s that spark that elevates any team and pushes them to continue having a positive output,” Head coach Courtney Martinez Connor said.
The Sun Devils will look to improve their record to 2-0 when they travel to Stetson on Sunday Feb. 11.