Making their home debut of the 2016 campaign, ASU women's soccer enjoyed a flurry of attacks that paced them to a 4-0 thrashing of Loyola University.
The Sun Devils were dominant in possession and relentless in attack, punishing the Ramblers with four goals from four different players. With the victory ASU improves its early-season record to 2-0-1.
The Sun Devils only needed eight minutes to score its first goal of the night, but they weren't without even earlier chances. Spending most of the early minutes in Loyola's half, the Sun Devils got a number of chances at a goal before Lucy Lara set up for a free kick from 30+ yards.
Rather than service it into the box, she surprised everyone in the stadium and boomed a twisting shot that out-paced the keeper's hands to make what was the goal of the night. While her goal took her coach by surprise, the early pace didn't.
"We've been fast starters. if you look at all three games we've so far, we've scored first," head coach Kevin Boyd said. "We've been starting fast all along, what we were working on is that second half tonight."
Arizona State kept the pressure up through the course of the first half, but were denied by Loyola. Twenty minutes went without the Sun Devils breaking through again until the 33rd minute, when Adriana Orozco took advantage of a defensive miscue and slotted a goal home past the Loyola keeper for her second score of the season and the Sun Devils' second of the night.
With a comfortable two-goal cushion to carry them into the second half, the Sun Devils didn't let up the pressure and earned a couple more goals as a result. Despite dealing with a Loyola side that upped its aggressiveness in the second half looking for a goal, the Sun Devils kept their composure and took advantage of what Loyola gave them.
Numerous attacking runs were made by the fullbacks, making use of the space Loyola gave them. Their third goal came on a beautifully-taken set piece in the 71st minute. Redshirt freshman Kylie Miniefield took service at the top of the penalty box off a corner and sent a beautiful cross into the danger area that Jessica Raybe converted into the back of the net.
"It's what the opponent gave us. The opponent squeezed and dropped so they gave away the outside spaces in our back line specifically, so both our wide backs had space to come at them, come forward and try to find a way in," coach Boyd said.
Forward Jazmarie Mader had made numerous attacking runs over the course of the game that ended fruitless, until she finally earned her third goal of the season in the 81st minute, as her shot from just outside the box was deflected past the keeper by a Loyola defender. ASU kept Loyola's counter-attack at bay, and wrapped up the 4-0 win.
"We just stayed focused, we didn't get pulled out of shape," coach Boyd said. "Sometimes when you're attacking a team like that and you're all over them, you have a tendency to launch everyone forward, and we didn't do that. We kept really good discipline, about preventing them from when they do have possession getting a counter-attack."
The Sun Devils are back in action on Saturday morning, taking on Beijing Normal University at 11:00 in Tempe.
Video highlights and a wrap-up from Shane and Miles Todd below.