Sept. 2, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Playing the final of five consecutive road games to start the 2012 season, the Arizona State women's soccer team battled Kansas to a 2-2 tie on Sunday afternoon.
Coming off a 4-1 loss to No. 18 Missouri on Friday, ASU was in for another difficult test in the form of a Kansas squad, which had outscored its previous three opponents 7-0 and had not given up a goal during that span.
The Sun Devils (1-3-1) would be at a disadvantage right from the start as they played without their leading scorer, junior Devin Marshall, who was held out for precautionary reasons (head injury).
Despite the aforementioned circumstances, it was the Sun Devils who came out and dominated much of the first-half action, attacking the Jayhawks (4-1-1) time and again. By the end of the first half ASU had clear advantages in shots (7-3) and corner kicks (5-2). Unfortunately for the Sun Devils the only area where they did not have the advantage was on the scoreboard as Kansas was able to cash in of one of its few opportunities for a goal in the ninth minute to give itself a lead that would stand for the rest of the first half and beyond.
"We played really well in the first half and yet we still found ourselves down by a goal," ASU head coach Kevin Boyd said. "I thought there were a couple [goals] that we should have gotten in there."
Kansas would pick up its play on both ends of the field in the second half as it would continually stave off ASU's attempts at finding the equalizer, while at the same time picking up the pace of its attack.
As time started to run down the Sun Devils did not start flinging the ball around, but rather kept pressing with an organized attack. Their patience would pay off in the 81st minute when Cali Farquharson tied the game with her third goal of the season. Farquharson's goal was assisted by freshman Christina Schedel as the duo took advantage of a bad clearance by the Jayhawks.
Farquharson's goal began a wild flurry of activity that would transpire over the next five-plus minutes.
After finding themselves in catch-up mode for the previous 70 minutes, the Sun Devils would suddenly find themselves in the driver's seat when Schedel connected on a free kick from long range in the 85th minute to put ASU up 2-1.
ASU's lead would hold for less than a minute as Kansas came right back and tied it when a chaotic sequence around the ASU goal resulted in a goal and a 2-2 game.
"We essentially gave them a goal on the kickoff because we didn't handle it well," Boyd said. "We had poor game management and didn't protect our lead the way we should have."
Neither team would be able to break through for the game winner over the last five-plus minutes of regulation or in the 20 minutes of overtime.
ASU outshot Kansas 3-2 over the two overtime periods, with the Jayhawks registering the only shot on goal; one that nearly ended the game in the second overtime. Facing a one-on-one situation, ASU goalkeeper Chandler Morris came up with a brilliant save to prevent Kansas from coming away with the win.
The Sun Devils were more in protect than attack mode over the last two minutes of the second overtime after Schedel was assessed her second yellow card resulting in a red card and ejection from the game.
"We were down a player and had to find a way to fight through it," Boyd said. "I give our team credit for finding a way to battle through and come out with a tie.
"I think we did some nice things in the second half, not quite as good as the first, but still some nice things. I thought it was our best game so far in terms of the quality of opponent that we played and the battle that we had. I thought our focus was a lot better, too."
Marshall, who scored ASU's only goal in Friday's loss at Missouri, is expected back next week.
"It's hard to not have one of your top players," Boyd said. "Devin got a little bit of a knock on the head on Friday and so it was the right approach to sit her out. It's better to be safe and smart."
ASU returns to action on Friday when it hosts the Sun Devil Desert Classic. The Sun Devils will face Houston in their 2012 home opener at 7 p.m. at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. ASU's game against Houston will be preceded by a contest between Arizona and Pepperdine at 4:30 p.m.