Arizona State opened Pac-12 play Friday night just the way they had hoped with a victory. The Sun Devils (4-4-1, 1-0-0) defeated Oregon State Beavers (3-4-2, 0-1-0), 2-1, in Tempe.
Arizona State dominated possession and field position in the first half as they outshot the Beavers 12-2 but could not find the back of the net.
It only took the Sun Devils six minutes in the second half to strike first and take the 1-0 lead. Jemma Purfield finished her third goal of the season on an assist from Jazmarie Mader.
“I knew I had to get forward, I saw the space, I attacked it and I got to put it in the back of the net,” said Purfield.
The Sun Devils added on to their lead in the 81st minute when Christina Edwards scored a 25-yard goal that went over the Beaver’s goalkeeper’s head and found the back of the net after hitting the crossbar.
“What a strike, you know. I saw it hit the crossbar, bounce down and hit the roof of the net.” said Arizona State head coach Graham Winkworth.
It was good Edwards gave ASU the insurance goal because Oregon State responded three minutes later with a goal of their own to make it 2-1. The soft shot slipped through the hands of Arizona State goalkeeper, Nikki Panas and slowly dribbled into the net.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in her and she knows it,” said Winkworth. “She won’t make many mistakes like that during her career,” he added.
Despite the fluke by Panas, the Sun Devils were able to finish strong to preserve the 2-1 victory. Arizona State starts conference play with a win for the first time since 2013.
“I thought today was our best performance of the season,” said Winkworth. “It’s really nice to get our first Pac-12 victory, it’s important to win these home games,” he continued.
For the next game, the Sun Devils travel west to face California on Thursday night and Stanford Sunday afternoon.