Soccer, a sport that is won and lost in the midfield, proved to be otherwise on Friday night after Arizona State (1-1-1) and Boston U (1-3-1) finished in a 0-0 draw.
After 90 minutes of hard, back-and-forth battles, neither team peeled away from the other. Then, after 20 minutes of sudden death extra time, the two teams still could not be separated.
A large part of this scoreless draw should be attributed to the stellar goalkeeping but also, missed chances on both sides.
“The game started where we completely controlled the match,” said Arizona State head coach Graham Winkworth. “We created enough opportunities in that first period to win three matches, but unfortunately we didn’t take advantage of that.”
Arizona State had the chance to strike first off a cross early in the game, but Natalie Stephens headed the ball straight off the post. Fifteen minutes after that, Hannah Ciolek, Boston University’s goalkeeper, made a diving save, preventing a back-heel goal from Olive Jones to keep the game scoreless.
“We’re just going to get better from here,” said Arizona State junior Jemma Purfield. “On another day, those would of gone in the back of the net.”
Arizona State kept piling on shots in the first half but Ciolek could not be broken down, as she made six saves on the night. In the 68th minute, as momentum shifted in BU’s favor, Chelsea Churchill shot a ball of the post, making that their best chance of the night.
The Sun Devils seemed to finally breakthrough the Terrier’s back line of defense and get a quality chance but the referee blew the play dead after he called offsides in the 82nd minute. A minute later, while the players were debating the close call, Erin Neville almost gave the Terrier’s the late lead as she sent her shot just over the crossbar.
Both teams had decent chances to close each other out, but ultimately a long game of back and forth ended in a stalemate.
“We got to be disappointed with the result today, but at the same time, there are positives, we kept a clean sheet, we limited their opportunities, and that is something we will need to do on Sunday,” said Winkworth.
The Sun Devils are now look to get back on the winning track vs. No. 24 University of Central Florida on Sunday at 2 p.m.