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ASU Soccer: Sun Devils fall 1-0 to Beijing Normal University in exhibition contest

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The ASU Women’s Soccer team fell to Beijing Normal University despite having a penalty as well as dominating the match as a whole.

Sun Devil Soccer Stadium from the corner Flag
Miles Todd

The Arizona State Sun Devils fell to Beijing Normal University 1-0 in an exhibition match Saturday morning after having just played against Loyola Chicago 14 hours beforehand.

A lot of lineup changes were made since Friday night’s game, most notably redshirt senior midfielder Lucy Lara, Redshirt freshman midfielder Kylie Miniefield, and senior defender McKenzie Grossman. "All for nothing wrong but for preventative health concerns" Head Coach Kevin Boyd said.

Despite not playing most of their regular starters, ASU were certainly the more threatening squad registering 19 shots, 11 on target however they were unable to convert their best chances.

"By all practical purposes we were the team that were the aggressor," Boyd said.

In the first half, they found themselves playing against a BNU team who were trying their best to maximize possession and keep ASU off the ball. BNU did well at keeping the ball however didn’t create any chances. ASU on the other hand were playing their normal high pressure offense but couldn’t finish their chances.

When it came to the second half the match began to liven up a bit more.

In the 53rd minute BNU’s goalkeeper Qi Jiamin went down with an injury and had to come off the field. With no back up goalkeeper in the squad, Zhang Jiexin stepped up to take the place between the sticks.

Immediately after the goalkeeper change, junior midfielder Madison Kmetko fired a shot from just outside the box, only to have it hit the crossbar.

"I think maybe [we were a little bit tired] but we have two days of recovery so that will be good for us," Kmetko said. "But I still think we came out hard and did the best that we could."

Following that, in the 70th minute, ASU had a chance to put themselves up 1-0 after being awarded a penalty kick. Sophomore defender Melinda Gutierrez stepped up to the spot and placed the ball towards the left corner, however the volunteer goalkeeper Jiexin stuck her foot out just enough to save the spot kick.

Immediately after the penalty, in the 72nd minute BNU went on the attack and put together a very nice string of passes which ended in forward Lyu Yueyun behind the backline and one on one with sophomore goalkeeper Sydney Day. Yueyun seized her opportunity and placed a calm finish into ASU’s net.

After the goal, the Sun Devils tried again and again to get upfield and get an equalizer but couldn’t finish the chances that were created.

Although it was just an exhibition match Boyd said that he "wanted to win" but it wasn’t the goal.

"[It was] a nice opportunity to play a team from another country but for us to give people some people a chance to play who need to develop," Boyd said.

In addition to Boyd, Freshman Forward Christina Edwards noted how this exhibition match helped the team as a whole.

"It’s a huge honor, I get to play with some of the top talent in the world," Edwards said. "It’s very humbling and it’s nice because my team just isn’t making me better, but our opponents are making us better so it was a very cool experience."

With this "loss" Boyd thought on the defensive side there were "moments where they needed to be a little more organized" but the offense is where the main concern was.

"Our attention needs to [go on the offense] we need to keep the ball more," Boyd said. "It’s a lot of normal early year issues, but were 2-0-1 there’s nothing wrong with that."

ASU’s next competitive match will be in the Sun Devil Desert Classic tournament on September 2nd at 4:30 PM against Columbia University.