(Photo: James Powel/WCSN)
The Arizona State women’s soccer team (5-4-2) fell to the visiting Colorado Buffaloes Sunday afternoon.
The first half was sloppily played by both teams, with no real quality chances developing throughout play. Nearly all of the 90-minute match was played in the rain, causing some difficulties for the players.
Nevertheless redshirt senior Lucy Lara said the weather was not the reason for the loss.
“I don’t think it was the weather was the issue, Lara said. “It was just the game of soccer, it is what it is.”
The Sun Devils did however show good signs in terms of team chemistry on the field. The passing was crisp and in sync for much of the game, something ASU has had troubles with in the past.
“We need to go find the first goal,” head coach Kevin Boyd said. “I thought we played pretty well in the first half. We were playing great balls from behind but it was wet, they kept running away from us.
A scary situation arose just 30 seconds before the end of the first half. Senior defender McKenzie Grossman and junior defender Madison Stark collided on a ball in the box from Colorado. Grossman was eventually carted off with an apparent head injury.
According to Boyd, Grossman was taken to Scottsdale Hospital.
The Buffalos were given a free kick as a result, much to the ire of Boyd.
“There was nothing in there other than our two players hitting each other,” Boyd said. A shot from the top of the 18, wall or not, there’s only so many bodies.”
Colorado scored off a free kick strike from freshmen midfielder Taylor Kornieck from just outside the box and took a 1-0 nothing lead into the break.
The Sun Devils played with determination for the remainder of the game, but were unable to translate their emotions into a goal.
“The team was angry, really angry at the ref,” Boyd said. “We needed to channel it toward winning the game.”
ASU struggled to build up opportunities, and chances were scarce. The Colorado defenders held their own, not allowing the Sun Devil’s leading scorer, junior forward Jazmarie Mader, to break free.
Mader’s lone open look came in the 63rd minute, and was saved by a diving Buffalo keeper.
A last ditch attempt on goal came in the form of a strike off the foot of sophomore forward Natalie Stephens. The shot was saved, lengthening her scoring drought.
“I’m just trying to get over that hump,” Stephens said. “It’s just super frustrating getting so many post hits.”
The Sun Devils will look to end their winless streak in Seattle, as they take on the Huskies Thursday at 4.