CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Arizona State women’s soccer team had its two-game winning streak come to an end on Sunday as it could not create any offense in a 1-0 loss at Oregon State.
The Sun Devils (8-5, 3-2 Pac-12) found themselves unable to maintain any kind of consistent attack against Oregon State (3-9-2, 1-3-1), which became only the fourth team to score on ASU in the Sun Devils’ last nine games.
“We did not do a very good job of taking care of the ball today,” said ASU head coach Kevin Boyd. “We had very few times when we put together a string of multiple passes. I know the playing surface was difficult and that’s a challenge, but we didn’t look skillful today. We have to play better than we did. When we don’t take care of the ball, it’s trouble.”
ASU, which was playing its fourth of five consecutive games on the road, took the field on Sunday without its second-leading scorer, senior forward Devin Marshall (six goals, three assists, 15 points). Marshall was not able to play after being issued her fifth yellow card of the year in ASU’s 1-0 win at Oregon on Friday.
“We are fully capable of winning a game without Devin, but not having her out there definitely made a difference today,” said Boyd.
The only goal of the contest came in the 71st minute when OSU midfielder Jacy Drobney’s free kick from just outside the 18 ricocheted off teammate Erin Uchacz and into the net. The Beavers’ goal, like many of their opportunities on Sunday, was set up by one of 14 fouls committed by the Sun Devils.
“At halftime we talked about limiting fouls and not giving them chances,” explained Boyd. “The goal that they got was the result of a foul 20 yards out of the box, which was not smart on our part. The (free kick) then hits off one of their players and goes inside the corner (of the goal).”
The Beavers, who came into Sunday’s game second in the Pac-12 for most fouls (11.69), turned the physicality up a notch as they were whistled 20 times on Sunday.
“There was a lot of pushing and grabbing all the time and it took the ref a while to figure it out,” said Boyd. “He figured it out at halftime and started calling it tighter in the second half, which you could tell by the foul count. He started giving cards, which helped a little bit, but the game kept stopping and starting, which can throw off your rhythm.”
The Sun Devils put five of their 11 shots on frame. Sophomore forward Sara Tosti, who scored the game-winning goal in ASU’s previous two games at Stanford and at Oregon, led ASU with three shots with two of her shots coming on goal. Cali Farquharson, ASU’s leader in goals (nine) and points (19) this season, nearly tied the game in the 86th minute after teammate McKenzie Berryhill found Farquharson breaking free behind the OSU defense. Unfortunately the ball took a high bounce, which was just enough to keep Farquharson from getting putting her best strike on the ball and Beaver goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme was able to make a diving save.
“Cali got in behind them and had kind of a tricky bounce with a difficult angle,” said Boyd of the shot. “Unfortunately she didn’t have anyone to play it across to because we didn’t have anyone in the area. It felt like Cali was by herself up top at times because we just didn’t offer much movement.”
Farquharson’s shot was ASU’s last serious threat on the afternoon.
The Sun Devils conclude their current stretch of five consecutive road games on Friday (7 p.m. PT) when they play at No. 2 UCLA.