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ASU Soccer: No. 15 Sun Devils open Pac-12 play with draw at Washington

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Douglas up to 11 goals on the season

Zac BonDurant

The strengths and weaknesses of No. 15 Arizona State soccer (8-1-1, 0-0-1 Pac-12) showed up Friday night. Washington (2-4-2, 0-0-1) erased a two-goal halftime deficit on a pair of set pieces that ended up in the back of the net.

“Ultimately we conceded too many weak free kicks and corner kicks and didn’t defend them well and so that will be something to focus on next week,” Arizona State coach Graham Winkworth said. “Having said that, it is very difficult to pick up points on the road in the Pac-12. Even though it could be looked at as two points lost, we are going to look at it as one point gained because this is not an easy place to come and play.”

The 2-2 draw can seem disappointing after Nicole Douglas scored her 10th and 11th goals of the season in the contest’s first 26 minutes. Douglas put the Sun Devils on the board in the 17th minute. Eva van Deursen feed Douglas a beautiful through ball into the box and she beat the keeper for the score.

Washington fouled Cori Sullivan — one of 10 fouls committed by the Huskies — leading to a penalty kick in the 26th that Douglas put away and increasing the lead to 2-0.

The Huskies didn’t start putting much pressure on the Sun Devil defense and keeper Birta Gudlaugs. Washington scored early in the second half, but the officials waved it off because of an offside call.

Later in the 67th minute, Jessika Cowart fired in a free kick from about midfield, and it found it’s way past Gudlaugs without a deflection. Gudlaugs moved closer to the middle of the net thinking a Washington player on a run was going to touch the ball, she did not and the ball got past the diving Gudlaugs. The entire sequence looked out of sync from the Sun Devils.

Ten minutes later, Washington took another set piece, this time the intended target was the goal. Summer Yates blasted a ball at Gudlaugs, who got her hands on it but didn’t get stop it from getting in.

Neither team found another goal in the end. Arizona State was close on multiple occasions. Douglas nearly got a first-half hat trick but hit the post. Olivia Nguyen nearly made it 3-1 in the second half before a great effort from Washington’s goalie Olivia Sekany stopped that. Jazmine Wilkinson nearly headed in the golden goal in overtime as it clang off the bar.

On a more positive note, Alexia Delgado returned from injury after about a month-long absence. Lieske Carleer was back on the pitch after being injured early in the Sun Devils’ win over Colorado College last week. Two All-Conference players certainly will help as Arizona State returns home to face USC on Sept. 30.