Arizona State Women’s soccer (1-1) looks to carry its early season momentum into Friday and Sunday in the Sun Devil Desert Classic.
ASU will square off against Boston University on Friday night at 7 p.m. and University of Central Florida at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
Friday’s matchup will prove to be a tough one as the Sun Devils face the 1-3 Terriers team. BU has allowed eight goals in the first four games; amassing to a mere .680 save percentage, which means Arizona State should get their shots on target as early and as frequently as possible.
So far, scoring does not seem to be a problem for ASU this year, as they have found the back of the net in every game thus far in the season. A key player for the Sun Devils people should have their eyes on to make an impact this weekend, and for the rest of the season, is Olive Jones. Jones, a freshman from Phoenix, leads the team with three points, including a goal and an assist. Other key players include, senior Jessica Raybe and junior Natalie Stephens, who both have contributed by scoring a goal each this season.
One question mark the team is still trying to sort out is the goalkeeping. In two official games this season, both goalies have each started one. Redshirt senior, Megan Delaney allowed two goals on five shots on target in an overtime loss vs. Ohio State. Meanwhile, freshman Nikki Panas got the win against San Diego State after allowing one goal on four shots on target. Until one goalkeeper outshines the other, this is ASU’s biggest dilemma at the start of the season.
Sunday’s opponent, No. 24 University of Central Florida comes fresh off an upset, beating No. 4 North Carolina, 2-1. Although the Golden Knights just had a big win, UCF has been tested early so far this season, losing to then-No, 4 South Carolina in its home opener, 2-0. Arizona State should be UCF’s next big test as this game should be the tougher end of the weekend double header.
Arizona State is currently riding a two game winning streak after defeating Beijing Normal University in an exhibition game and San Diego State University on the road. If Arizona State’s offense can stay hot and find steady goalkeeping, there shouldn’t be any reason why the Sun Devils can’t defeat Boston University and upset the University of Central Florida and win the Sun Devil Desert Classic.