After coming off a tough loss in the final minute of their matchup against No. 5 USC, the Arizona State Devils were faced with another difficult opponent as the No. 16 UCLA Bruins came to Tempe Sunday afternoon.
The Sun Devils were unable to find a rhythm until the second half and fell to the Bruins 4-1. They are now 6-4-2 and 0-2-1 in Pac-12 play.
The Bruins struck first putting one in the back of the net within the first minute of the game with a goal from Viviana Villacorta. Just six minutes later, they had another one from Kennedy Faulknor with an assist from Villacorta.
Sun Devils head coach Graham Winkworth noted that the slow start could’ve been because of the heartbreaking loss on Thursday.
“When you play No. 5 in the nation and you put in such a fantastic performance for 89 minutes and you lose the way we did, it’s very difficult to get the team back up from such a disappointment,” Winkworth said. “We should be more professional than that. We did not start the game well in that sense. I told the girls that we need to put in two solid performances regardless of results.”
The Bruins maintained strong possession of the ball for much of the first half. They came out with a new system against the Sun Devils. The team had to quickly adjust to this new formation, a reason why the Bruins were successful so early.
“I want to credit the UCLA staff,” Winkworth said. “They started in a different system then they haven’t started in in the previous 11 games, so they threw something that we weren’t expecting at us and we did not handle that very well.”
After a foul on Sun Devil Alexia Delgado, the Bruins capitalized and put another point on the board extending their lead to 3-0 in the 18th minute.
Towards the end of the first half, the Sun Devils seemed like they were starting to find a rhythm offensively. They started to take more shots on the goal and were able to maintain more ball possession. The Bruins outshot the Sun Devils 10-3 in the first half.
Coming out of the second half in the 49th minute, the Bruins added to their lead with a goal from Ashley Sanchez which put them up 4-0.
The Sun Devils only point of the game came from a goal by sophomore Marleen Schimmer in the 53rd minute. She stuck one in the back left corner of the net from a shot outside of the box. Schimmer is one of the team’s strong offensive weapons and has the ability to take a shot on goal from deep outside, making her a constant threat.
“I’m just trying my best,” Schimmer said. “I just try to keep shooting and getting shots on the goal so we can score goals. You can’t score if you don’t take shots on the goals.”
The Sun Devils will look to get back in the win category as they head to Washington to play the Huskies on Thursday night and the Washington State Cougars on Sunday.