Arizona State coach Graham Winkworth wanted to truly see where his team was even after a successful non-conference season. He got his answer on Friday.
Arizona State (5-0-0, 1-0-0 Pac-12) upset No. 10 USC (1-1-0, 0-1-0) 1-0 for its first win over the Trojans since 2014 and the team’s first Pac-12 win since 2018.
“It was a monkey out of everyone’s back,” Winkworth said. “...Getting the first Pac-12 win in awhile and particularly against an opponent as well coached and talented as USC was phenomenal.”
The lone goal came from the Sun Devils’ main scorer, Nicole Douglas. In the 14th minute, Alexia Delgado started a Sun Devil corner kick with a quick pass that was instantly returned to her. She sent in a cross that found the English forward’s head for a beautiful combination that ended in a score.
“First of all, I wasn’t expecting it to come to me,” Douglas laughed. “It was like a slow cross and I got my head on it. It was slow motion and it was quite far out so I thought the keeper was going to catch it but I guess I put a quite a bit of power on it and lifted it over her.
“We are all really buzzing after that win. We went into the game believing that we could win this game and we fought till the very end straight from the get-go. It was a team effort.”
After that it was all defense throughout the game. ASU didn’t register another shot on goal, but they didn’t need to. Despite seven corners and 15 shots, USC only challenged Sun Devil keeper Giulia Cascapera twice.
She made both saves on shots from Savannah DeMelo and Tara McKeown in the 64th and 73rd minutes. Defender Lucy Johnson’s slide tackle in the 42nd minute showcased the defensive play-making Arizona State showed in the upset victory.
ASU now heads into a break before hosting Washington State and Washington on Mar. 5 and Mar. 7.