After starting the season with five road games, Arizona State’s women’s soccer team faced their first home match Friday against Houston in the Sun Devil Dessert Classic.
The weather remained mild, the team looked prepared, and the fans were ready to see the Sun Devils perform.
The team looked to add a win to their 1-3-1 record, but left the field in disappointment with a 1-0 loss against Houston.
“We came off strong, I thought we had them, but we lost in the second half and didn’t stay composed. It was our first home game; it was very upsetting,” said freshman forward Cali Farquharson.
During the first half of the game ASU remained strong with a tight defense, not letting Houston near the goal.
ASU had managed six shots by the end of the half, but the team’s offense struggled getting the ball into the goal.
The offensive weakness could have been a result of a head injury to one of their key forwards, junior Devin Marshall, but according to ASU head coach Kevin Boyd, the team should have still pulled away with the win.
“Devin is a top player– in my opinion she is one of the top players in the country– so putting her on the field will change any team, and it will dramatically change us, that’s for sure; but we didn’t have her and we still should have won this game,” Boyd said.
After the first half, ASU’s defense began to fall apart and the offense had trouble keeping the ball in the box.
It wasn’t until the 86:51 mark that a handball penalty in the box was called on ASU, resulting in a penalty kick. The penalty allowed Houston junior Jasmine Martinez to sink the game winning shot, leaving the score 1-0.
“You can feel a sense that we got something, and then it’s just sand through our fingers. We are not putting all the pieces together and it’s six freshmen on the field and it’s really a big factor,” Boyd said. “We are not getting game changing performances out of our older players, and that’s really what we need.”
Boyd hopes to tighten the defense and stay more organized. He put an emphasis on the defense allowing the opponent to score too many goals.
ASU will finish the tournament playing No. 10 Pepperdine on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The team will begin their Pac-12 conference schedule on the road against Stanford on Sept. 23.
“I hope to come out and shut Pepperdine out immediately and get quick early goals and hopefully win,” junior defender Jasmine Roth said. “I’d rather have mistakes early in the season and then I’d rather have us correct them so that by Pac-12 time we’re going full strong.”