Oct. 28, 2011
TEMPE, Ariz. - For the second time in three matches the Arizona State women's soccer team fought hard only to have its collective heart broken in overtime.
Less than two minutes after having a would-be, game-winning goal called back, the Sun Devils were victimized by Washington State freshman midfielder Jocelyn Jeffers, whose header 7:02 into the second overtime gave the Cougars a 2-1 win.
The Sun Devils (6-11, 2-7 Pac-12) lost to the Cougars (11-6-2, 5-3-1) despite putting forth what ASU head coach Kevin Boyd called one of the team's `better performances' on Friday night.
"We played hard as a group and that's what I like," Boyd said. "We played smarter soccer and sounder as a team. (But) again, it was a couple little things, some team maturity things. We scored a goal and then gave one up within two minutes. And then three minutes left in the game and we lose a player unmarked on a ball that comes out and gets served back in. It's those little details that have been haunting us this whole year."
Prior to Jeffers' goal it appeared as though it would be the Sun Devils who would be celebrating in a sequence that began when junior defender Kiara Williams attempted a pass into the box. Williams' pass was deflected by Cougar defender Rachael Doyle and started to roll towards the end line where ASU sophomore forward Devin Marshall appeared to save it from going out of bounds. Marshall's attempted save sent the ball back into the box where ASU junior forward Alyssa Freeman connected on a shot into the upper left post to give the Sun Devils what appeared to be the game-winning goal. However it was not to be as officials ruled that the ball went out of bounds before Marshall could get to it and ASU was awarded a corner kick instead of the victory.
After thinking for a split second that they had captured a hard-fought, double-overtime win, the Sun Devils would experience a 180-degree turnaround in emotions less than two minutes later when Jeffers' goal ended the contest.
"We had a goal called back and that changed the game," Boyd said. "It was a momentum shift for sure."
Since 2000 all but one of the matches between ASU and Washington State had been decided by a single goal and Friday's contest would be just as competitive as its recent predecessors as the two teams would battle through a scoreless first half.
The Sun Devils would break the tie in the 51st minute when sophomore Holland Crook's corner kick resulted in mad scramble in front of the Washington State net. Freeman's shot was blocked and deflected to freshman Jessica DeLeon who quickly rebounded with a shot into the net for the goal.
ASU's lead would be short lived as less than two minutes later Cougar forward Tiara Pittman sent a shot into the far left post to knot the score at 1-1.
The two teams would continue to compete hard over the next 38-plus minutes of regulation before going to overtime for the third time in their last five meetings.
After not going to overtime in their first 14 matches, the Sun Devils have played now played extra time twice in their last three contests. Last Friday ASU was defeated by USC in overtime 2-1 in Los Angeles.
The Sun Devils had 19 of the 35 shots that were taken in Friday's match. Crook, Freeman, Marshall and Courtney Tinnin tied for the team lead with three shots each while Alyssa Gillmore had her second-highest save total of the season with seven.
The Sun Devils return to action on Sunday when they host Washington at 1 p.m. in their 2011 home finale. Sunday's match will be the final at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium for seniors Nicole Acosta, Sierra Cook, Courtney Giovanni, Kate Sangster and Kari Shane, who will be recognized prior to Sunday's game against the Huskies.