TEMPE, Ariz. – The Sun Devil soccer team will be hosting a scrimmage against Northern Arizona University at Arizona State University’s West Campus on Friday at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and spectators may park free of charge in Lot 2, on the south side of campus, at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Glendale (actual field address is 4781 West University Way South).
Fans are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs for the game as there will be a limited amount of seating in the bleacher area. There will also be a concession stand available for fans to purchase snacks and soft drinks.
This is the second straight season that ASU and NAU will be meeting in a preseason scrimmage. Under eighth-year head coach Kevin Boyd, the Sun Devils started preseason training on Aug. 6.
“I think as a whole our training has gone well thus far,” said Boyd, who is the program’s all-time leader in career wins. “I think we have a good group in terms of their focus and what they want to become. It is a building process because we have so many young players and we are going through that process right now.”
Boyd said he and his staff will use Friday’s scrimmage as a measuring tool in terms of how the team executes what it has been focusing on in training.
“I want to see what we look like defensively – our organization, what kind of pressure we are getting on the ball, what we look like as a whole. And then from an offensive standpoint we want to see: Can we keep the ball? What does our shape look like? How are we playing off one another, and then, ultimately, what kind of impact players do we have? Are the young players playing up to their capabilities? Are some of the veterans who can impact the game doing that? We are not going to have covered everything we need to cover going into the game. There are still a lot of pieces that we either won’t have addressed or will have only briefly addressed prior to Friday’s game.”
The Sun Devils, who normally play their games at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium on ASU’s main campus in Tempe, are eager to play in Glendale and in front of another segment of the ASU student/staff population.
“It’s a new area of town for us and we are looking forward to it,” said Boyd. “Fans who live in this area would typically have to travel 45 minutes to come see us play. It will be in their backyard and so hopefully they will come and check us out. We are excited to be in front of them.”
The Sun Devils return six regular starters from last year's team that went 9-8-2 and came just short of earning the program's fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in a five-year span. Included among the returning starters are junior forward and leading scorer Cali Farquharson (2013 All-Pac-12 Second Team, 2013 NSCAA All-Pacific Region Second Team) and junior defender McKenzie Berryhill (2013 All-Pac-12 Second Team, 2013 NSCAA All-Pacific Region Third Team).
Earlier this summer Farquharson and Berryhill were both participants in the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team’s training camp. Also getting national team experience last month was redshirt sophomore midfielder Lucy Lara, who participated in Mexico’s women’s national team’s training camp.
The Sun Devils open the 2014 regular season on Fri., Aug. 22 when they take on Texas as part of the Outrigger Resorts Shootout being hosted by the University of Hawaii. ASU will then face Hawaii on Sun., Aug. 24.