The Arizona State women’s soccer team took a trip down to Tucson to play a doubleheader in the annual Wildcat Classic. On Friday, the Sun Devils (1-3-1) were neck and neck with Texas Tech (5-1-0) until a late goal broke the tie and gave the Red Raiders a 2-1 win.
Arizona State started the game on the right track as Cristina Edwards settled the ball off her chest and put the ball right over the Texas Tech goalkeeper’s head to make it 1-0 for her first goal of the season. The goal was assisted by Jemma Purfield as she delivered the corner kick in the 14th minute.
Only two minutes later, Ally Griffin scored a header for her first goal of the night to tie it up 1-1 off a corner kick from Jordie Harr.
Both teams had opportunities, but Arizona State got the advantage in the 52nd minute after Carly Wickenheiser of Texas Tech received a red card after striking ASU’s Jessica Raybe in the neck with her cleat. The contact was unintentional but Wickenheiser’s foot was high going after the ball as Raybe went in to header it.
Although the Sun Devils had the extra player for the last 38 minutes, they did not get the opportunities they needed to defeat the Red Raiders. When Arizona State looked like they were heading to extra time for the second time in a week, Griffin created her own space outside the box and put away Arizona State with her second goal of the night.
Arizona State goalkeeper, Nikki Panas, kept the Sun Devils in the game with her aggressive, yet smart play style as she made three saves and forced six shots to go wide. Ultimately, her sharp play was not enough as the Red Raiders came out of the game on top.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Arizona State (2-3-1) faced off against a quality Florida Gulf Coast team (6-2-0). Both teams were plagued by over 100-degree weather as the game stopped multiple times so the players can get water breaks and rehydrate.
After a slow and scoreless first half, the Sun Devils came out faster and more physical than the Eagles, who were not as conditioned for the Arizona heat. This allowed Amanda Jones to play a ball over the top of the Eagles’ fatigued line of defense, where Purfield was waiting to receive it, and finish the one-on-one against the FGCU goalkeeper. Purfield’s second goal of the season made her the first ASU player with multiple goals.
Just seven minutes later, Arizona State doubled its lead as Angela Boyle scored her first goal as a Sun Devil in the 64th minute. The Oklahoma transfer scored off a volley, as the ball came to her when the Eagles goalkeeper attempted to punch the ball away while trying to defend a corner.
Although down by two goals, Florida Gulf Coast was not out of the game. In the 74th minute the Eagles cut the deficit in half as Cassidy Morgan scored on a corner kick which was assisted by Paige Law.
Both teams had a couple chances in the closing minutes, but neither could capitalize. Arizona State held strong in the 88th minute, as Panas made her biggest save of the game, allowing the Sun Devils to capture a 2-1 victory.
Arizona State is back in action on Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. when the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors come to Tempe. The game can be watched on ASU’s live stream on Pac12.com.