With big shoes to fill, sophomore forward Enasia Colon has become the centerpiece of ASU’s offense. After a whirlwind of a freshman season, Colon has stepped up to lead the Sun Devils in scoring this season.
Colon kicked off her career by appearing in each of the Sun Devils’ 18 games. While she only started seven matches, Colon made her playing time count by recording two goals and five assists. In her best outing of the season, she scored a goal in ASU’s 6-2 win against the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
If playing an entire season wasn’t enough, Colon was invited to suit up for Puerto Rico in the 2023 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship. In the tournament opener, she scored two goals in The Boricuas' 7-3 loss against Costa Rica. While Puerto Rico lost its three matches, Colon said she relished the opportunity to meet other players and face tough competition.
"It's definitely like top everything that I've done," Colon said. "And it's just cool to represent the country that your parents are from. So it's amazing, it's awesome."
By the time Colon returned to Tempe, the Sun Devils had lost four of their five top scorers to graduation. Knowing she’d be expected to score more this season, Colon hit the ground running over the offseason to improve her first-touch skills. Colon said she decided to train with men because their quick and physical play forced her to adapt.
So far this season, Colon’s training has paid off as she leads the Sun Devils with four goals on 22 shots on goal. In two of ASU’s four wins this season, Colon scored a pair of goals in each game to build comfortable leads for the team.
Despite her significant role in the offense, Colon said she doesn’t think her coaches have placed too much pressure on her to score. She said a little pressure is good and that she wants to do whatever she can to meet expectations.
"I'm just trying to help the team out as much as I can get myself in good positions," Colon said. "Last year, we had a really great goal scorer. I think this year with losing that we need some people to step up, and I just want to be one of those people that step up."
ASU soccer coach Graham Winkworth believes that Colon has stepped up to lead the team’s offense. Winkworth said Colon is a unique attacker who succeeds because defenders don’t know what she will do next.
"A lot of players are heavy-footed, but she's very light-footed and can float with the ball," Winkworth said. "That enables her to do those unpredictable things in the attacking part of the pitch."
Besides her skills, Colon’s scoring success is partially explained by a position change over the offseason. Last season, she played as a midfielder despite being recruited primarily as a forward. After switching spots on the pitch, Colon said it’s much easier to beat one defender as a forward than to dribble past an entire defense as a midfielder.
With Colon at the helm, ASU’s offense has outscored its opponents by nine goals while taking 4.1 more shots per game on average this season. Freshman forward Savannah Maley said Colon has led the team offensively by finishing her own chances and setting up others for her teammates.
"We have a different type of connection, like we know where each other is going to move on and off the ball," Maley said. "I think that really helps Enasia (Colon), you know, she just gets herself in very good goal-scoring positions."
As Pac-12 play draws nearer, the Sun Devils will be counting on Colon’s offensive production after winning just one of their past four matches. Colon said she is focusing on staying resilient on the pitch to keep the pressure high on opponents’ back lines.
"I feel like just make an impact as much as I can with assists, dropping back on defense and going forward, just making it a team effort," Colon said. "At the end of the day, soccer is a team sport, not just individual."
Edited by Alfred Smith III, Walker Smith and Grace Copperthite.