(Photo: Steve Rodriguez/ASU Athletics)
Arizona State head coach Kevin Boyd captured his 200th career win, as the Sun Devils took care of Portland State 3-0 in their season opener.
Portland State came out hungry, but was plagued by sloppy touches and unforced turnovers from early on in the game. The Vikings were easily pushed back and were forced play in their defensive third for a great majority of the game.
The Sun Devils on the other hand came out cool and collected, netting the first goal of the game before the 10-minute mark.
Senior defender Mackenzie Berryhill fed a ball into space on the outside for forward Cali Farquharson in the seventh minute of the game. The senior captain was easily able to lose her defender, bring the ball back to the middle and beat the keeper from 20 yards out.
“[I go] out every game, play the best that I can, and hopefully get some goals,” Farquharson said.
Arizona State nearly doubled their lead just two minutes later as Viking goalkeeper Angela Haluska came out of the box to clear a ball, but ended up sending it straight up. A shot by senior midfielder Lucy Lara was just off frame.
Nevertheless, the Portland State defense was caught sleeping in the 18th minute and junior forward Larisa Staub beat the keeper one on one after being fed a ball up the middle, extending the Sun Devil’s lead to two.
“I love it,” Staub said about her move to the attack this season. “Defense is fine, but I love playing forward, attacking, and getting those goals in.”
Freshman forward Jaimie Salas was also given the opportunity to play up front in her first college match just five minutes after the goal.
Also making their college debut were defender Melinda Gutierrez, forward Natalie Stephens, and midfielder Adriana Orozco.
“I though they did pretty well,” Boyd said. “ When we got a lot of them on the field…it gets a little chaotic then, but one thing I liked about that is we were still attacking and getting chances. I guess with youth comes enthusiasm.”
Throughout the remainder of the half, Portland State worked hard to get on the scoreboard, but lacked the creativity to get past the Sun Devil back line.
The Vikings attempted to bulldoze their way up the heart of the Sun Devil defense, but Berryhill and junior defender Mackenzie Grossman proved too strong of a wall.
The half ended with the Sun Devils up two to zero and Portland State had a yellow card. The second half did not go any better for the visiting team.
Arizona State sealed the game with another goal just six minutes into the half, when sophomore forward Aly Moon found herself at the end of a cross a couple of feet away from goal after a Portland defender lost the ball in the air.
“I thought we were really clinical in the way that we played,” Boyd said. “We dominated possession, yet we were trying to find ways to probe and find ways in.”
Arizona State will play again on Sunday at 11 a.m. when they take on Beijing Normal University in an exhibition match at Sun Devil Stadium.