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ASU Soccer: Sun Devils and CSUN draw, Arizona State looks forward to Pac-12 play

Conference play ahead

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

Once again the Sun Devils controlled the pitch, and once again the result didn’t end in Arizona State’s (6-2-1) way. Possession, heavily in favor of the Sun Devils, told only a little of the story in the 1-1 draw with Cal State University, Northridge (5-1-3) on Friday.

CSUN’s Kacie Garrity pushed down the left side from her full back position and cut inside past Sun Devil Lorato Sargeant. Garrity delivered a stellar strike over the leaping Giulia Cascapera in goal for the score in the 49th minute.

For the third time in the last four matches, Arizona State fell behind. The Sun Devils caught fighting, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Forward Marleen Schimmer created a foul in the box in the second half to present an opportunity from the spot for the Sun Devils’ leading goal scorer Nicole Douglas.

Douglas, who confessed to being nervous, looked away from the keeper as she always does and put away the equalizer in the 75th minute.

“I respect her so much,” Sun Devil captain Kylie Miniefield said. “We were talking about how proud we were that she was able to go up there and show such great confidence because that’s a lot of pressure. We were down a goal, there wasn’t a long time left (in the game). Penalty kicks are mental, you’re so close to the goal you should make it every time, but you get mentally psyched out. The fact that she is so confident, I think really shows the type of player she is.”

Pressure continued after Douglas’ goal, however, the theme continued into overtime. Douglas put one of the ASU’s six shots on goal early in the first half of extra time. The Matadors Amanda Delgado pushed away the potential game winner.

Outside of the penalty kick, Delgado’s night breezed by after the first 25 minutes. She survived an attacking onslaught from the Sun Devils, saving shots from Schimmer, Taylor Culver and Dai Williams twice.

Lack of shots on target bugged Winkworth because of the 22 shots and plenty of chances in front of the net result in nothing disappoint the head coached.

“We didn’t hit the target enough,” he said. “Looking back, how many saves did their goalkeeper really have to make? Not enough for the level of chances we had I expect a goal scored..We weren’t clinical in front of goal.”

The Sun Devils will host the Utah Utes next Friday at 2:00 p.m. to start conference play. The team made quite the strands in year two under Winkworth and now will try to capture a winning record in a difficult conference.

“Expecting a lot of quality,” Winkworth said. “We got all sorts of different types of teams. Different styles of plays. A lot of athleticism, you’re going to see teams play very direct soccer..There’s not an easy game in the league.”

For a young team, Douglas believes everyone is ready for the challenge ahead.

“Me and the team are ready for every opportunity,” she said. “Just playing against these teams in the Pac-12 just makes us better individually and as a team. We’re excited to play games that are going to test us.”