By Lindsay Gaesser, SDA Media Relations
TEMPE, Ariz. – Despite taking 18 shots on Sunday, the Arizona State women’s soccer team’s offensive drought continued as it was unable to score any goals in a 1-0 loss to Washington State.
The Sun Devils (8-7-1, 3-4-1 Pac-12), who went scoreless for the fourth straight game, started Sunday’s contest strong, taking the first seven shots. After weathering ASU’s early offensive flurry, the Cougars (11-3-1, 4-3-1 Pac-12) countered, taking eight of the next 13 shots over the last 25 minutes of the half. One of those eight shots produced the game’s only goal in the 27th minute when WSU forward Micaela Castain found midfielder Cara Wegner 18 yards out, and Wegner lofted a shot just inside the far post and just out of the reach of ASU goalkeeper Chandler Morris.
“WSU is a good team,” said ASU head coach Kevin Boyd. “There’s no taking that away from them—they’re a good team. They caught us on a counter in the first half, coming down the right side. We were a little out of position because of the counter, and they found a wide-open player who hit a looping shot to the far post. It was just one of those floater balls that goes over the keeper and into the back post.”
Continuing their momentum from the first half, the Cougars kept ASU’s defense on its toes early in the second half, with several near misses. Morris, who tallied six saves for the afternoon, came up with some key saves to keep ASU within striking distance.
“In the second half we started slow,” said Boyd. “We gave them two really good chances that they probably should’ve scored. I didn’t think we created enough up front. With that said, we did great. We were getting in and getting shots, but they were going over the goal.”
With 17:30 left in the second half, ASU had the opportunity to capitalize on a corner kick, but a header by senior defender Kaitlyn Pavlovich and a follow-up loft shot by freshman defender Mckenzie Grossman were both knocked away by WSU goalkeeper Clair Gurveen, who tallied six saves.
As the clock neared 00:00, ASU was given a final attempt to tie the game. Senior Holland Crook lined up for a free kick after a WSU foul. Crook crossed the ball to Pavlovich, who headed the ball just high of the crossbar.
“We had better looks today,” said Boyd. “The problem is we didn’t put them on frame. We had 18 shots, and only six were on frame. You don’t put them on frame, you don’t have a chance. That was our problem today—we just weren’t finishing out in front.
“We’re in a drought, there’s no doubt about it. I was hoping today would be the day we’d come out of it, but again if you’re not finishing on frame you don’t have a chance of scoring.”
Sophomore forward Cali Farquharson, who tallied five shots, added, “It’s unfortunate that we haven’t been able to finish. Sometimes we lose focus as a group, and that’s where the goals are scored. We’re playing well, we just haven’t been able to finish.”
The Sun Devils close out the home portion of their schedule next week when they host Colorado (Friday at 7 p.m.) and Utah (Sunday at noon) at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium.