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Arizona State prevails for thrilling win in Pac-12 opener

(Photo: ASU athletics)
The Arizona State women’s soccer team opened Pac-12 play Sunday with a thrilling 1-0 win over the USC Trojans, as forward Devin Marshall netted the game winner with 19 seconds remaining in regulation.

Less than 30 seconds after receiving a yellow card, Marshall slid past USC goalkeeper Caroline Stanley, and placed a shot in the lower left corner, which all but sealed a Sun Devils’ victory.

“I didn’t even know there were twenty seconds left on the clock,” Marshall said, “But I saw Tosti with the ball with two defenders in front of her and my only thought was to widen out as much as possible. I was just screaming for the ball because I knew if she could hit it over, I would be there to score. Thankfully she placed it perfectly.”

Marshall’s goal came with a huge sigh of relief, as the Sun Devils had failed to capitalize numerous times on golden opportunities to put the game out of reach.

The near misses from the Sun Devils offense began in the 8th minute, when forward Cali Farquharson’s left-footed shot was deflected aside by Staley. Five minutes later, the Sun Devils were given two more brilliant opportunities to score. However, shots by midfielder Tommi Goodman and Farquharson went ringing off the post.

The theme would continue throughout second half, as Marshall, Tosti and Farquharson all had shots that flirted with the back of the net.

“We were definitely due for a goal,” said Marshall, “We had a lot of chances in the first half and we were getting fouled a lot in the second half but failed to come through. But we definitely deserved the game, so I’m happy we were able to pull through at the end.”

The goal for Marshall was her fifth this season and No. 22 of her illustrious Sun Devils career. She now ranks eighth on the all-time goals list for Arizona State.

A win for the Sun Devils in their Pac-12 opener was critical, as they now face the daunting task of five consecutive games away from home. The Sun Devils will travel to California next weekend as they take on the No. 12 California Golden Bears and the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal, the latter a team that has not lost in 72 straight games at home.

“We have to start out with a win,” ASU head coach Kevin Boyd said. “We have to take this and then get the ones on the road where we can get them. I think it is three times in every ten years that a team will get three road games in a row like this. Every team that does this has had a rough time.

“We are going to have to earn some wins on the road to get us that playoff spot.”

The Sun Devils now have five consecutive victories over the Trojans at home and a 6-3 overall record this year. ASU will face off against California next Friday at 2:00. A win would give Kevin Boyd win No. 61 for the Sun Devils, which would make him the winningest coach in ASU women’s soccer history.

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