Early goals bury ASU soccer against No. 16 UCLA

After an emotional loss to USC, ASU came out flat, giving up three early goals

Thanks in part to a couple of early game goals, ASU soccer (6-4-2) lost 4-1 to No. 16 UCLA (7-3-1) on Sunday in Tempe.

With temperatures reaching the mid 90s at kickoff, ASU came out of the gate extremely lackadaisical.  

The UCLA offense attacked early and often on Sunday, repeatedly capitalizing on scoring opportunities inside the box. Similar to it’s most recent match, a loss to No. 5 USC, ASU fell behind early, with UCLA scoring goals in the 2nd, 8th and 19th minutes of action.

ASU head coach Graham Winkworth attributed the team’s slow start on Sunday to Thursday night’s emotional last-minute loss to USC.

“When you play No. 5 in the nation and you put in such a fantastic performance for 89 minutes, and then you lose the way we lost, with a last-minute goal and PK that was saved, it’s very difficult to get the team back up from such a disappointment,” Winkworth said. “We should be more professional than that.”

While Winkworth understood the emotional hangover from Thursday’s game, he said that he was still disappointed with the lack of effort from his team.

“I was a little disappointed from the way we started from a passion standpoint,” Winkworth said.

Winkworth mentioned that the team was forced to make early line adjustments when UCLA came out with a formation that the team was unprepared for.

Once ASU adjusted its defensive scheme, the team became a lot more competitive. Winkworth was glad the team showed character in the second half despite the huge deficit.

“I thought we responded really well in the second half and gave as much as we got,” Winkworth said. “But I don’t want to be playing second halves for pride. I want to be playing second halves for wins.”

ASU’s lone goal on the day came when sophomore forward Marleen Schimmer scored on another bomb from outside the goal box. Schimmer has a penchant for scoring these long-range “wonder goals,” as Winkworth coined them.

Schimmer noted her mentality when it comes to taking these types of shots.

“I am just trying my best. Like I said, I just try to keep shooting,” Schimmer said. “You can’t score if you don’t shoot any shots on goal.”

Schimmer and her teammates will have to regroup quickly before heading out on the road next week. 

ASU currently sits at 6-4-2 overall but is just 0-2-1 during Pac-12 play.

Next up, the Sun Devils will head to the Pacific Northwest to face off with both of the Washington schools.  Next Thursday ASU will face Washington at 7 p.m. MST.

Reach the reporter at ltochter@asu.edu and follow @Leo_Toch on Twitter.

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