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ASU soccer looks to continue win streak against UA

The Sun Devils take on the Wildcats down in Tucson on Friday for their final regular season game

210416 soccer vs ua

ASU then-senior defender Jessica Hale (31) kicks the ball in a game against UA at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe on Friday, April 16, 2021.

ASU soccer takes on UA for the team's final regular-season game in the Territorial Cup on Friday.

Last week, the Sun Devils got their first two wins against Pac-12 teams of the season with senior forward Nicole Douglas and senior midfielder Eva van Deursen breaking records against Utah.

"It definitely feels very good to break a record, and none of what I've done over this season and all my seasons at ASU would've been possible without my teammates," Douglas said. "We have a good momentum right now as a team, and hopefully we can get this last game against UA and come from the outside to see if we can maybe make the NCAA tournament."

With another win, the Sun Devils may have a better chance to make the NCAA bracket. On Nov. 8, prior to the first week of the competition, the teams for the tournament will be announced.

Head coach Graham Winkworth said getting players healthier has contributed to the team's first two Pac-12 wins and has given the team what it has been lacking throughout the 2021 season.

On Oct. 28, ASU defeated Colorado 3-2. With Douglas scoring two of the goals, she tied Sun Devil Hall of Famer Stacey Tullock's 22-year-old program record for most goals in a single season, with 17 goals. 

On Sunday, ASU came up with its second victory of the Pac-12 conference schedule against Utah, winning 4-1. Douglas broke Tullock's record when she scored her 18th goal in the 74th minute of the game.

The goal, in addition to an assist by her in the fourth minute, put Douglas at 42 points for the season, passing Tullock's 41 points in 1999. 

Douglas, now with 45 career goals, also broke the program's career goals second place record previously held by Cali Farquharson, who played from 2012 to 2015.

Van Deursen broke the record for season assists with her two assists in Sunday's game. She is now in the program's top spot for most assists in a season with 10.

"We've relied heavily on her goals this season, and I'm delighted that she's getting the recognition along with Eva," Winkworth said. "They've been two of the best players this season."

Shifting gears to Friday's match, the Sun Devils travel to Tucson for the Territorial Cup match against the Wildcats. Last season, UA defeated ASU 2-0 in Sun Devil Stadium. 

The Wildcats are 1-9 in the Pac-12 this season but pose a challenge for the Sun Devils with their athleticism and creative style of play.

ASU will have to defend and contain UA redshirt senior forward Jill Aguilera who is in second place on UA soccer's all-time goal scoring list.

"They are a very athletic team and whenever we play Arizona we get the most physical version of Arizona," senior forward Cori Sullivan said. "It's just going to be a game of grit and a game of who wants it more, we need to remain composed and play our style and we need to put in hard tackles."

The Sun Devils are 5-5 against the Wildcats in Tucson and are 5-4 at home and will have to win back the Territorial Cup in Tucson.

"This is the game we look forward to every season and we treat it as a cup final because if we are going to do well in any game then this is the game to outperform our opponents," Douglas said.

With a match that can go either way, ASU knows just how important getting a win against its rival is.

"This is Arizona so we could have a losing season or winning season and it doesn't matter, it's the Territorial Cup and this is a one-game tournament in itself that means a lot to everybody who puts on the maroon and gold," Winkworth said.

ASU takes on UA down in Tucson on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. MST.

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