The statement of ‘it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish’ stood true on Thursday morning in Tempe. The Arizona State Sun Devils (7-5-1, 2-3-1 Pac-12) soccer team used three goals in a 10-minute stretch to upset No. 22 Washington State (10-4, 3-4).
In the 73rd minute, freshman forward Marleen Schimmer sent a free kick about 10-feet outside the box. The ball took a few bounces to get past redshirt junior goalkeeper Emma Dahline, and finally a frustrated Sun Devil team was filled with life with Schimmer’s game-tying goal.
It’d be far from the last goal the Sun Devils put in. The Schimmer goal flipped the momentum, ASU scored two more goals, and even had another taken off the board on a offside call. Head coach Graham Winkworth was asked if Schimmer’s goal open the game up for Arizona State.
“Yeah I think so. There was an offside I’d like to see again. We scored another goal off a great cross. I think that one we had a lot of momentum,” he said. “We had about a 30 minute spell we outshot them 7,8 to 0. We were unlucky to score more than three in that period. You know I’ll take three, three is good.”
The Sun Devils took their first lead on a beautiful cross from senior captain forward Jemma Purfield to freshman midfielder Eva Van Deursen. Purfield in the 78th minute came down on the left side to swing one into the box where Van Deursen’s run let her get enough of it to put the Sun Devils up 2-1.
Purfield also talked about how Schimmer’s tying-goal sparked the ASU attack.
“We gained our confidence, we realized we can put with these teams. We’re not going to let one lapse at the end of the first half dictate this result,” said Purfield before talking about her assist to Van Deursen. “We got told if we get the ball higher up as wingbacks there was going to space to get in behind with runners on to it. It was a fantastic run from Eva and finish.”
The third score came in the 82nd minute. Sun Devil senior defender Angela Boyle sent a free kick that almost found its way past the reached out Dahline. Dahline made the save, but the rebound went to freshman forward Nicole Douglas, Dahline saved her shot attempt as well. However, she couldn’t save the attempt from senior forward Natalie Stephens. Stephens scored her first goal of the season to seal the victory for the Sun Devils.
“Super exciting, it’s been a long time coming. I’ve been working my [expletive]. It was really exciting for me, all my teammates and coaches there to support me along the ways,” Stephens said about the goal.
Overall, Winkworth thinks this win over a ranked opponent will help the Sun Devils’ mentality the rest of the season.
“I think it’s huge. Not only is it a big win, the girls understand that they can play with teams of that level now,” Winkworth said. “Washington State are faster than us, bigger than us. They’re highly ranked and they beat us here on our own pitch here last season. The girls will leave today knowing that is possible.”
The Sun Devils will look for a series sweep of the Washington schools as they host the Huskies at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.