(Photo: Nicholas Badders/WCSN)
The game of soccer is a game of chances. Chances can be few and far, but sometimes they come in abundances. Against Boston University, Arizona State had plenty of chances to put in the back of the net but at the end of the day they couldn’t finish what they started, taking the contest into their third overtime of the season in as many games.
In their first game of the Sun Devil Desert Classic Friday night, the ASU women’s soccer team tied Boston in overtime.
Once the first whistle blew, Arizona State started off hot pressuring their opponent, but a quick turn of events led to the Terriers receiving their first corner kick of the night.
Boston University’s senior goalkeeper Hannah Ciolek made impressive saves including multiple shots from ASU freshman Olive Jones, senior Jazamarie Mader and junior transfer Jemma Purfield.
The Sun Devil offense kept Ciolek on her toes all night long. But, with the amount of chances they had, the team was unable to put the ball in the net, despite having five shots on net in the first half alone.
“It’s a confidence thing, it’s growing each game and I’m getting used to playing with the girls, so I felt like we are going to get better from here,” said Purfield. “And on another day those would go into the back of the net.”
Freshman goalkeeper Nikki Panas received her second career start, her first start on home turf. Panas looked poised in the net with her 5’11” stature, as she kept flow into the game and allowed the players to use her when there was lack of movement in the offensive zone.
Even though the Devils did not get the result they had hoped for, Panas ended the night with her first shutout of the regular season.
Sophomore midfielder Devyn Kelsey helped Panas by clearing balls with her head and shutting the Boston players down all night long. As for her team’s draw, she doesn’t think there is one person to blame.
“It’s definitely all of us, the coaches, the team, we work our butts off through the whole game and that’s a long time to be running around the field and I am proud of our team,” mentioned Kelsey.
As halftime concluded, the Sun Devils continued their push for a goal in the second half. Senior defenseman Madison Stark started to push up into an offensive position, just like Purfield had done all night to help finish opportunities in the box.
At this point, things started to change. ASU looked discouraged and frustrated that they were unable to finish any of the chances. The referee also seemed to be having sway of their attitudes.
“Today we had enough chances to win the match, but we didn’t capitalize on them,” commented Coach Winkworth. “I’ve got to do better.”
In the second half, Boston University continually drew fouls from ASU, it became clear the referee was not calling much for the Sun Devils.
Unable to score against Ciolek, the Sun Devils went into the third overtime of their season. Terriers began to dominate the game and almost had a lucky break, but instead what could have been a game-deciding shot went off the crossbar.
At the end of the night, the Devils had multiple opportunities in front of the net. Being unable to capitalize on those chances hurt their shot at winning.
“We need to have that killer instinct in front of goal and right now we have players capable of scoring goals, but they’re not,” said Winkworth. “We haven’t had that killer instinct.”
After 110 minutes, the night ended with the season’s first tie. The Sun Devils look to earn a win on Sunday against the University of Central Florida, a game that starts at 2 p.m. at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium.