The Arizona State Sun Devils (6-8-3, 0-6-2 Pac-12) honored five of their seniors on Senior Day during the final home game of the season against the Oregon Ducks (5-6-5, 1-5-2 Pac-12). Both teams were still looking for their conference win of the season.
Ultimately, the Ducks came out on top 1-0.
Lately the Sun Devils have struggled with playing catch-up, allowing their opponents to put the first points of the game within the first five minutes of the game. It is something that head coach Graham Winkworth wants to work on for the final three games, along with the offseason.
”We have made a lot of mistakes on that side of the pitch and we need to continue to coach the players that we have and improve our ability and decision making at the back,” Winkworth said. “We have also got to make sure that in the midfield we are making good decisions and looking after the ball. We also need to give our back line and goalkeeper a little bit more protection.
“We have to toughen up and get stronger. Our 50-50 challenges need to become 50-50 challenges. We need to win more of them and not just stick a leg out there. ”
In the ninth minute of the game, Arizona State goalkeeper Giulia Cascapera made a huge save on a shot from Oregon’s Ally Cook. The save kept the game scoreless.
Cook gave the Ducks the early lead in the 16th minute, sticking one in the bottom right corner with a pass from Chardonnay Curran.
The Ducks outshot the Sun Devils 11-6 in the first half.
There wasn’t much action for either side of the ball during the second half.
The Sun Devil offense started to come alive late in the game as Callie Darst took a shot which curved and hit off the inside post during the final minute of the game, giving Oregon the win.
Cascapera ended the game with six saves, with the Ducks outshooting the Sun Devils 16-10.
After the game, the Sun Devils honored five of their seniors as they took the field at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium one final time. The team is preparing for the last three games of the season.
“For these last three games, I think we are at the point where we need to have a lot of grit,” said senior Lorato Sargeant. “I think a lot of what we lack is that mentality piece to be aggressive on the ball and fight. Some games we have it and some games we don’t which has hurt us. It’s an unfortunate loss today because we really brought the energy and intensity.”
The Sun Devils are on the road for the rest of the season as they head to Stanford on Thursday night. Their final two matchups are against California and Arizona.