After spending their first four games on the road, the Arizona State Sun Devils returned back to Tempe to face the Marquette Golden Eagles in their home opener. The Sun Devils came out victorious with an 18-14 win.
“It feels good to be home,” coach Tim McCormack said. “We put in a lot of hard work here and dating back to the first days in August and to have it all come together on the place you put that work in is awesome. It’s very exciting and hopefully the team can build off of it.”
Both teams jumped off to a slow start, but the Sun Devils were soon able to find a rhythm that would help lead them to a victory. The first goal came five minutes in with an assist from junior attacker Emily Glagolev to senior Kerri Clayton. The two have been feeding off of each other all season.
The Sun Devils were executing in the transition and came with some big stops defensively, going up 5-1 with 13 minutes remaining in the period. But Marquette quickly found their groove and went on scoring five goals and holding ASU to one.
With two minutes left in the half, things were tied at six. Senior goalie Berkeley Bonneau came up with some important saves to keep the game at six, when true-freshman midfielder Tess Kieser scored with seven seconds left to give the Sun Devils a 7-6 lead heading into halftime.
“I told them to relax and play our game,” McCormack said. “Remain calm. Play fast and free as we do and as we teach. It was good to see us come out in the second half and settle in a little bit, but that’s going to happen. Teams are going to take swings and you have to be ready to buckle down and handle them.”
ASU listened to its coach as they came out and put three goals in the back of the net to extend their lead. Marquette answered to cut the lead to 9-7.
The Sun Devil offense quickly struck again going on a 6-0 run when they started executing on draws, something the coaching staff has been focusing on.
“It’s huge,” McCormack said. “Great three-player effort that started with (Glagolev). She really did a nice job digging the ball out of the stick and placing it where we needed it to be. Her teammates just did a nice job of boxing out and creating lanes. That’s been a major point of emphasis for us in the last week and a half.”
Despite a late push by Marquette, Bonneau and the Sun Devil defense were able to maintain their lead and hold off the Golden Eagles for their first home victory of the season.
Clayton recorded 5 goals on the day. She has a hat trick in every game this season.
“We come out and compete each day,” Clayton said. “There’s no chance for us to let up in practice, so I think knowing that my practices when I come out in the morning are going to be 10 times harder than the games and then I come out here and have fun. I know that I’ve prepared to the best of my ability and its shown.”
Freshman attacker Anna Winkeler and senior attacker Carley Adams both had hat tricks, with Glagolev adding in two goals. Bonneau ended with 12 saves.
ASU faces the Fresno State Bulldogs at home on Monday at 2 p.m. MST.