By Lindsay Gaesser, SDA Media Relations
TEMPE, Ariz. – Devin Marshall’s goal with 19 seconds left in regulation propelled the Arizona State women’s soccer team to a 1-0 win over USC on Sunday in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
The victory gave Sun Devil head coach Kevin Boyd his 60th win as ASU’s head coach, tying him for the most wins in program history.
The Sun Devils (6-3, 1-0), who won 5-4 in double overtime in their last meeting with USC (5-4-1, 0-1) in 2012, outshot the Trojans 16-13 in this very physical match in which the teams combined for 31 fouls (USC 17, ASU 14).
The Women of Troy were feeling the heat throughout the first half, and not just from the 93-degree weather. ASU’s advances put some serious pressure on the USC defense, outshooting the Trojans 12-4. Sophomores Tommi Goodman and Cali Farquharson had several good looks, but both missed by mere inches or found the post each time. Attempting to put one on the board in the final seconds of the half, senior Blair Alderson launched a shot from 18 yards out, only to be blocked by USC goalkeeper Caroline Stanley, who had five saves.
ASU had an opportunity to take the lead early in the second half, but sophomore Sara Tosti’s line drive shot sailed just above the crossbar. Several other ASU shot attempts met a similar fate.
Just as the game appeared to be heading into overtime, ASU struck with 19 seconds left. Tosti directed a pass to Marshall, whose first touch on the ball was a flick that sent the ball past a charging Stanley and into the back of the net for the goal.
“Tosti played a real nice ball in through to Devin, who just flicked it by the keeper,” said Boyd. “Devin is really good in those moments. She is a good finisher, especially when she’s coming in on one-on-ones. I felt as soon as she got loose, ‘This is a goal.’ And it was well earned.”
“I didn’t even know there were only 20 seconds on the clock,” Marshall admitted. “I just saw Tosti with the ball, and there were maybe two defenders in front of her. My thought was just to widen out as much as possible. I was just screaming for it because I knew that if she hit it over that I would be in behind them. Tosti played a brilliant ball in behind, and the keeper decided to come out. I was able to just hit it in, open frame.”
Marshall’s goal came shortly after she received a yellow card.
“I was a little frustrated,” said Marshall. “But the whole team was just telling me to ‘Take it out and get a goal in.’ It was nice to answer back with a goal. We deserved it as a team. I’m glad we got the home field win again. It’s always nice to start off (Pac-12 play) with a win.”
“We wanted to win, plain and simple,” said Boyd of the dramatic finish. “We needed it. We wanted it. We willed it. We got it.”
Next up, the Sun Devils hit the road to play No. 11 Cal on Friday, Oct. 4. The game will be the first in a five-game stretch on the road.
“It’s a tough stretch,” said Boyd of the upcoming away games. “We’re 6-3 with 10 games remaining. We have six on the road and four at home, so we’re going to have to earn some victories on the road to get ourselves into playoffs. All I’m going to pay attention to right now is Cal. Cal is our next opponent on Friday. I know they’re a very good team, but we’re a good team too. I think it should be a terrific game in many ways.”
“Our mindset right now is just one game at a time,” added Marshall. “Tonight was just USC, to get our home win. Next week, it will be Cal and Stanford on the road. We’re just taking it a game at a time, and trying to come out with as many wins as possible.”
Friday’s game at No. 11 Cal will take place at 2 p.m. PT and can be seen live on Pac-12 Networks.