Sept. 20, 2012
The Arizona State women's soccer team kicks off Pac-12 play on Sunday (2 p.m. PT) when it goes on the road to take on third-ranked and defending national champion Stanford.
The Sun Devils (4-4-1) begin Pac-12 play with a three-game winning streak, not having allowed a goal in any of the three wins - vs. (then No. 10) Pepperdine 1-0, vs. Loyola Marymount (3-0) and vs. FIU (3-0).
The Sun Devils will be making their 2012 debut on Pac-12 Networks, the first of eight live appearances the Sun Devils will make this season. Roxy Bernstein (play by play) and Krista Blunk (analysis) will be on hand to call the action.
The Sun Devils earned a pair of wins at the Cats Classic in Tucson, defeating Loyola Marymount 3-0 and FIU 3-0. Devin Marshall (two goals, one assist) and Holland Crook (two goals, two assists) helped lead the way offensively while the Sun Devil backline and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Chandler Morris combined to record ASU's third and fourth shutouts of the season.
Also scoring goals for the Sun Devils were senior midfielder Taylor McCarter and senior forward Miah Mollay. Senior forward Courtney Tinnin added a pair of assists in the win over FIU, ASU's third consecutive win.
Marshall (MVP), Crook and McCarter were all named to the Cats Classic All-Tournament Team.
No. 3 Stanford (6-1-1) is coming off a 4-0 win over UNC Greensboro, a game in which Stanford held its opponent without a shot for the first time in school history. Included in Stanford's record this season are wins over Penn State (currently No. 11), San Diego State (currently No. 17), Georgetown (currently No. 19) and a tie against Boston College (currently No. 4). Stanford's only loss this season was against West Virginia.
• Stanford leads the all-time series 9-3-3 and has won each of the last four meetings.
• This will be ASU's first trip to Stanford since 2009.
• ASU's last win against the Cardinal came in 2003 (1-0 in Tempe).
• The highest ranked team the Sun Devils have ever defeated was No. 2 Stanford back in 2001 when ASU recorded a 1-0 win in overtime.
• ASU tied then No. 5 Stanford 0-0 in Tempe in 2007, Kevin Boyd's first season at ASU.
After starting the season 1-4-1, the Sun Devils have won each of their last three games to get back to the .500 mark at the start of conference play. ASU has outscored the opposition 7-0 over that stretch.
"I think our team is doing a good job on focusing on what we are asking them to do and what we want to be like as a team," ASU head coach Kevin Boyd said following last Sunday's win over FIU. "I think they have latched on to that and we are starting to show consistency in that area. There are still a couple things we want to make better, but as a whole I'm happy with where we are at right now."
ASU's winning streak has propelled the Sun Devils into the NSCAA's most recent Pacific region rankings (tied for 10th).
ASU has shutout each of its last three opponents, its longest such streak since the 2008 season. Overall, ASU has given up only one goal in its lost four contests.
"I'm very happy with the play of the backline," Boyd said after last weekend's games. "They are not giving away chances and they are making teams have to work for it. They are covering each other well and their one-on-one defending is much better. They now have three shutouts in a row and could have four if the penalty kick against Houston [on Sept. 7] didn't happen."
MCCARTER MAKES IT HAPPEN
One of the key figures in ASU's success is senior midfielder Taylor McCarter, who has consistently provided the Sun Devils with outstanding play in the midfield since her freshman season in 2009.
"She's been our best player for the last two years," Boyd said. "We're hoping to get her a little further up the field [this season] and when we do that our game is better."
McCarter, who earned third-team All-Pac-12 and third-team NSCAA All-Region notice last season, has started every one of ASU's 68 games the last three-plus seasons.
Most recently, McCarter was named to the Cats Classic All-Tournament Team after helping lead the Sun Devils to wins over Loyola Marymount (Sept. 14) and FIU (Sept. 16). McCarter scored her third career goal in the win over LMU. One week earlier she was named the MVP of the Sun Devil Desert Classic for her performance in ASU's games against Houston and in the Sun Devils' 1-0 upset of No. 10 Pepperdine.
MARSHALL MARSHALL MARSHALL
Leading ASU's offensive attack this season has been junior Devin Marshall, who is currently pacing the Sun Devils in goals (6) and points (13).
Marshall was third on the team in scoring (10 points) and tied for first in assists (4) in 2011 when she was limited by an ankle injury that caused her to miss seven games. Among returning members of the team, she was ASU's leader in goals (4) from last season.
Marshall was named to the Pac-10's All-Freshman Team in 2010 when she was third on the team in scoring. Last May, Marshall was one of 24 players called to participate in the U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team training camp.
"Devin had a terrific preseason and I think this could be a breakout year for her," Boyd said prior to the start of the 2012 season.
Marshall tied her single-game career high with two goals in ASU's win at NAU (Aug, 24). She scored her third goal of the season at Missouri (Aug. 31), a game in which she also sustained a head injury that caused her to miss ASU's next two games -- at Kansas (Sept. 2) and vs. Houston (Sept. 7). She returned for ASU's contest against No. 10 Pepperdine and scored the only goal of the game in ASU's 1-0 upset of the Waves. She was named the MVP of the Cats Classic hosted by the University of Arizona after scoring a goal in both of ASU's games -- vs. LMU (Sept. 14) and vs. FIU (Sept. 16).
Marshall has scored at least one goal in the last five games she had played in. At the start of this week's play she was No. 2 in the Pac-12 in goals per game (0.86 avg./G) and fifth in points (1.86 avg/G).
NEW CAST MEMBERS
Fourteen of the 31 players on ASU's roster are new members of the team in 2012. Of the 14 newcomers, 11 are freshmen to go along with three student-athletes who transferred into the program. Add redshirt freshman Chandler Morris to the mix and nearly half the team (15 of 31) is comprised of players who did not play in a game for ASU prior to this season.
The Sun Devils have had seven players who have made the first start of their respective ASU careers thus far, including six true freshman - McKenzie Berryhill, Nina Brueggemann, Cali Farquharson, Tommi Goodman, Christina Schedel and Sara Tosti.
Brueggemann and Schedel are the first international players on ASU's roster team since Kylla Sjoman (Canada), who graduated in 2008.
Both Brueggemann (9 games/8 starts) and Schedel (7 games/7 starts) have been two of ASU's primary starters on the Sun Devils' backline. Schedel recorded her first career assist and goal in ASU's 2-2 tie at Kansas (Sept. 2).
• Junior Holland Crook scored the first goal of her career (via PK) in ASU's 3-0 win over LMU (Sept. 14) at the Cats Classic in Tucson. She would follow that with another goal in ASU's ensuing game against FIU (Sept. 16). For her performance in the two games, Crook, who also tallied an assist in each of the games, was named to the Cats Classic All-Tournament Team.
• Senior Courtney Tinnin leads the team in assists with three after notching a pair in ASU's 3-0 win over FIU (Sept. 16). Tinnin, who tied for second on the team in points (14), was second in goals (4) and tied for first in assists (6) in 2009, did not play in 2010 due to a knee injury sustained in the spring of 2010. After missing the first eight games of the 2011 season rehabbing the injury, Tinnin returned and ended up tying for the team lead in assists (3).
• Redshirt freshman Cali Farquharson scored two goals and led ASU with nine shots its win at NAU (Aug. 24). She scored her third goal of the season in ASU's 2-2 tie at Kansas (Sept. 2). She played a pivotal role in ASU's upset of No. 10 Pepperdine (Sept. 9), setting up Marshall for what eventually proved to be the game-winning goal.
• Senior Taylor McCarter scored her third career goal in ASU's 3-0 win over LMU (Sept. 4). The shot on which McCarter scored against LMU was only the 27th of her career. "That's great [for Taylor]," Boyd said of McCarter's goal vs. LMU. "She does so much for our team. Her getting in the attack and scoring goals is really not the role she plays because she is so far from goal. She is more our playmaker, the one that connects and wins a lot of balls for us. Scoring goals is rare and I'm really happy when she gets them."
• Senior Miah Mollay scored her fourth career goal in ASU's 3-0 win over FIU (Sept. 16).
• ASU has registered double-digit shot totals in seven of its nine games.
• During their current three-game winning streak, the Sun Devils have had a 31-8 advantage in shots on goal.
• ASU's current streak of three straight shutouts is its longest such streak since the 2008 season. Overall, ASU has given up only one goal in its lost four contests.
• Currently with four shutouts in 2012, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Chandler Morris needs one more shutout to move into ASU's top 10 list for most shutouts in a season.
• Junior defender Jasmine Roth has started 45 of 47 career games, including all nine this season.
The Sun Devils started the 2012 season with five straight games on the road. ASU kicked off its slate with games at Cal State Northridge (Aug. 17) and San Diego State (Aug. 19) before traveling to Flagstaff, Ariz., to face in-state foe Northern Arizona (Aug. 24). ASU then traveled to the Midwest the following week for contests at Missouri (Aug. 31) and at Kansas (Sept. 2).
Overall, ASU is playing eight of its first 10 games away from home. This week the Sun Devils travel to the Bay Area to take on third-ranked and defending national champion Stanford.
Four of ASU's next five games are against teams that finished their non-conference slate among the top 5 in the Pac-12 (as of Sept. 16 standings) - at Stanford (Sept. 23 - fifth, 6-1-1), vs. UCLA (Oct. 1 - 1st, 7-0-1), at Washington State (Oct. 5 - third, 6-1-0) and at Washington (Oct. 7 - fourth, 7-1-1).
On the academic side, the Sun Devils have earned 59 Pac-10/12 All-Academic awards in Boyd's five seasons, including 16 first-team members and nine second-team members. ASU's 13 first-team commendations the last three seasons (2009-11) are the most of any school in the Pac-12 during that span. In addition, the Sun Devils have three student-athletes -- Kaitlyn Pavlovich, Jasmine Roth and Sarah Van Horn, who are currently enrolled in ASU's prestigious Barrett Honors College.
In June 2012, Sun Devil Soccer was among three ASU teams recognized by the NCAA for recording an Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the top 10 percent nationally.
LEPEILBET HELPS USA WIN GOLD AT OLYMPICS
Former Sun Devil soccer player Amy LePeilbet helped the U.S. capture the gold medal at the London Olympics this past August.
LePeilbet, a 2004 graduate of ASU (B.A. in Sociology, Magna Cum Laude), started in five of the team's six matches at the London Olympics, including the gold medal game against Japan.
A member of the national team since 2004, LePeilbet was one of the cornerstones of the Sun Devil Soccer program as ASU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament three times in her four years (2000-03).
A two-time All-American and three-time All-Pac-10 Conference first-team selection, LePeilbet did not miss a start in her four years at ASU, playing in 74 career games.
LePeilbet, who was also a two-time Academic All-American, is one of just four Sun Devils to earn a team sport gold medal, joining Justin Huish (archery in 1996), Joe Caldwell (men's basketball in 1964) and James Harden (men's basketball in 2012).