(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
The Arizona State Sun Devils pulled off a much-needed 1-0 win against the University of Arizona Wildcats today.
The Sun Devils needed the win in order to keep their NCAA tournament dreams alive.
“To play in this game- energy was so high. Our team was so pumped and we knew we needed to come out with a win and we were going to do whatever it took to get that,” ASU defender Madison Stark said.
Both teams started the game sloppily as both sides tried to establish their dominance on the field early on.
The Wildcats were the first to compose their offense and nearly took an early lead off a corner kick. Chandler Morris pounced on the attempt and made a last second save to keep the game even.
It was the Sun Devils who took the lead in the 21st minute. Freshman forward Aly Moon fed a ball to unmarked defender Madison Stark down the sideline who hit the upper 90 to beat to keeper.
“For your right back to make that kind of run, get all the way into the box, get fed a ball, and then absolutely just stuff it in the goal, you gotta love that effort from the right back,” head coach Kevin Boyd said.
The goal was the freshman’s first goal of the season and her first goal as a Sun Devil.
Just one minute later, ASU defender McKenzie Berryhill received an injury and was forced off the field. She returned to the field just moments later after a brief check up by the team trainer.
The Sun Devils didn’t let off any gas, and Moon nearly netted another one in the 30th minute. Moon beat the keeper, but the Wildcat defense managed to clear the ball centimeters before it went in.
Although Arizona was pressuring ASU’s back line, the Wildcats did not manage to create much danger on goal other than a shot in the 44th minute.
Arizona looked much more alive in the second half. From the moment the whistle blew, The Wildcats shut down the Sun Devils in the midfield.
The Sun Devils managed to break the gridlock, but both team remained scoreless for the greater part of the half.
In the 82nd minute Arizona forward Haley Silverberg had to be taken off the field after a slide tackle from Berryhill left her with an apparent ankle injury.
The Sun Devils are now waiting for Monday, when they find out whether they will make it into the NCAA’s postseason tournament.
“I think we should’ve been in no matter what. I feel strongly about that,” Boyd said. “Our resume is too good. We’ve beaten too many good teams.”