The Arizona State women’s soccer team opens the 2013 season at home this Friday at 7 p.m. when it hosts Cal State Northridge at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe.
This season the Sun Devils return eight players who started 14 or more games last season. Included among the returners are three of the team’s top four scorers from last season: forwards Cali Farquharson, Devin Marshall and Holland Crook. In the back line ASU will be led by senior defender Jasmine Roth, who has started 57 games over the last three seasons.
The Sun Devils, who concluded their 2013 spring season with a perfect 9-0 record, will be seeking their fourth NCAA Tournament berth in the last five years under seventh-year head coach Kevin Boyd.
Fans who cannot be at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium for Friday night's season opener can watch via free live stream.
The Sun Devils are 12-4-1 all time in season openers, including a 5-1 record under head coach Kevin Boyd. ASU’s only loss in a season opener under Boyd came to this week’s opponent, Cal State Northridge, 1-0 last season.
Last year the Matadors won their first ever Big West Tournament Championship to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Returning from last year’s team are senior Chloe McDaniel and sophomore Taylor Hobson, both of whom were named to the preseason All-Conference team. In all Cal State Northridge returns 18 players from last year’s squad including five starters. The Matadors have been picked to finish fifth in the Big West this year.
This will be the fourth meeting between ASU and CSUN. ASU earned its first victory in program history over the Matadors in 1996. Northridge and ASU renewed their series in 2008 and have split the two games they have played since with the home team winning each game by a one goal margin. The most recent meeting was CSUN’s win in last year’s season opener, a contest in which ASU had more than twice as many shots (21-10 as the Matadors. ASU played that contest without Cali Farquharson, who would go on to lead the Sun Devils in goals last season.
SUN DEVIL SOCCER RETURNS PAC-12’S TOP SCORING DUO IN 2013
When the 2013 soccer season commences on Friday, the Arizona State women’s soccer team will be featuring the Pac-12’s top returning duo in combined goals per game in the form of senior Devin Marshall and sophomore Cali Farquharson.
Last season, the play of Marshall and Farquharson proved to be a significant factor in helping the Sun Devils make their third NCAA Tournament appearance in four seasons. Together, Marshall (0.56 goals per game/second in the Pac-12) and Farquharson (0.50 goals per game/sixth in the Pac-12) combined to average more than a goal a game for the Sun Devils, whose 1.51 goals-per-game average was their highest average since the 2005 season when they averaged 1.66.
Arguably one of the most exciting players in the country to watch with her one-of-a-kind, go-after-it style, Marshall finished second on the team in both goals (nine – seventh in the Pac-12) and points (20 – t10th in the Pac-12) last season. However the most important statistic that illustrates Marshall’s effectiveness is goals per game where she had the Pac-12’s second-best mark (0.56) in 2012. Marshall, who was named second-team All-Pac-12 last season, did not play in five of ASU’s games last season and missed the majority of two others – including ASU’s NCAA Tournament game against Baylor – because of injury. Entering her senior season Marshall is 10th on ASU’s all-time list in goals (16) and tied for 10th in career points (40).
Farquharson was one of the top newcomers in the Pac-12 last season as she finished first on the team and tied for fifth in the Pac-12 in goals with 10 on her way to being named to the Pac-12’s All-Freshman Team. A Valley native (Shadow Mountain HS/Phoenix, Ariz), Farquharson also led the team and finished tied for fifth in the Pac-12 in points with 24. Her 10 goals tied for the seventh-highest single-season total by a Sun Devil while her 24 points were the 10th-highest single-season total in program history. Farquharson’s three goals against USC tied both the school record and the highest single-game total by a Pac-12 player in 2012. Her eight points (three goals, two assists) against the Women of Troy set a new single-game school record and were the most by any Pac-12 player in 2012.
SETTING THE SCENE FOR 2013
ASU has made the NCAA Tournament three times out of the last four years, a feat that has only been accomplished one other time in program history. The Sun Devils, who were picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 by the league’s coaches, will be looking to carry over the momentum they established at the end of last season (went 4-0-1 in last five regular season games to earn NCAA Tournament bid) and during the 2013 spring season (won all nine games).
As has been the case in recent years, the Sun Devils will play one of the toughest schedules in the country in 2013. ASU will face five teams that are ranked in the NSCAA Preseason Top 25 (three of those five squads reside in the Pac-12 Conference).
Aug. 30 – at Texas A&M (#12 preseason)
Sept. 13 – vs. Texas Tech (#24 preseason)
Oct. 4 - at California (#20 preseason)
Oct. 6 - at Stanford (#2 preseason)
Oct. 18 - at UCLA (#5 preseason)
In addition to those five contests ASU will also face three more teams that received votes in the preseason poll (Illinois, USC and Stephen F. Austin). Five out of the first six games this season are against teams that made it to the NCAA Tournament last year. The Sun Devils will face an additional five teams that made the NCAA Tournament last year once they begin Pac-12 play.
KEVIN BOYD ESTABLISHING WINNING TRADITION FOR SUN DEVIL SOCCER
When the Arizona State soccer team takes the field for the 2013 campaign it will be aiming for its fourth NCAA appearance in five seasons, something that would be a first for the program.
The soccer program’s recent run of success has come under the tutelage of Kevin Boyd, who will be entering his seventh season as ASU’s soccer coach. Boyd came to ASU after leading Cal to eight NCAA Tournament appearances in 10 years. His last recruiting class at Cal included a name soccer fans from all walks of life are familiar with – Alex Morgan.
At ASU, Boyd has already planted the seeds to establish a winning tradition. In his previous six seasons at ASU, Boyd has led the Sun Devils to as many NCAA appearances (3) as the program had in the 11 seasons prior to his arrival.
Last season Boyd led a relatively young Sun Devil squad to a tie for fourth place in the Pac-12, ASU’s highest finish in league play since the 2004 season.
Currently with 54 wins as ASU’s head coach, Boyd enters the 2013 season needing seven wins to become Sun Devil Soccer’s all-time leader in career wins.