(Photo: Matt Harden/WCSN)
The Arizona State Sun Devils defeated the Oregon Ducks 1-0 during the team’s last home game of the regular season on Sunday.
The match was also senior day for the Sun Devils and commemorated 10 players that will be graduating this school year.
“[It’s] unreal. I mean before the game, saying stuff to the team, you just get worked up,” senior defender McKenzie Berryhill said. “You want to give it all you’ve got.”
All nine players fit enough to play started the game — midfielder Tommi Goodman is out for the season due to a foot injury sustained earlier in the year. However, not all of them were allowed to finish.
Redshirt junior midfielder Lucy Lara was shown a straight red at the beginning of the second half for what the official deemed intentional contact on an Oregon player.
“I thought it was really soft,” head coach Kevin Boyd said. “I think without a doubt there’s a card there, but when you can’t even see behind you and she was being held before that, and [the official] ignored that. I just thought it was a bit soft.”
Arizona State started off the game strong, outshooting Oregon 11-1 in the first half.
A goal off a penalty from senior forward Cali Farquharson gave the Sun Devils the lead in the 25th minute.
The momentum shifted to the Oregon side after Lara received a red card in the 46th minute, and Arizona Sate was forced into a defensive position.
“They’ve got more player pushing forward so we’re not going to open up our back,” Boyd said “When you’re down a player like that, you just dump balls deep, and if you can get a hold of it and keep it, great. If not, just put it out of bounds as close to the corner flag as possible.”
More than once, Oregon looked ready to equalize, but redshirt senior Chandler Morris kept the Sun Devils alive with a flurry of saves, including a one handed diving save after a clearance.
“Last game on this field, and I guess it’s just a little bit of adrenaline,” Morris said. “Any game I get to play, it’s awesome when I get to contribute, but this one was a little extra special.”
In the end, Farquharson’s lone goal was enough to seal Arizona Sate’s victory and ensure a memorable last home game for the seniors.
“It’s our last home game, the last time that we’re going to play on this field, ever, but it’s like an unreal feeling,” Berryhill said. “You can’t describe it. I’m just so happy.”
The Sun Devils will now hit the road for their last three games of the season. They will play again Friday against Utah at 6 p.m.