(Photo: Matt Harden/WCSN)
Teams with nothing to lose are sometimes the most dangerous teams to play. Arizona State found out the hard way on Friday as the Sun Devils fell to the Utah Utes 2-1 in overtime.
The Utes were 5-9-3 coming into the game, and had failed to score or win a game in five appearances.
The Sun Devils on the other hand were on a four-game unbeaten streak with the NCAA playoffs in their sights.
As expected, Arizona State came out the stronger team in the second half, outshooting its opponent 7-3, and forcing Utah redshirt senior goalkeeper to post five saves.
Senior defender Sarah Tosti held the Sun Devil back line strong and held the Utes to just three shots in the first half, sending the game into halftime without a goal.
The second half started off in similar fashion, with the defense joining in on the attack, and putting even more pressure on an already struggling Utah back line.
Sophomore defender Madison Stark drew a foul at the top of the penalty area in the 75th minute, which senior forward Cali Farquharson was able to curl into the top left corner of the goal.
Things looked set for an ASU victory going into the final minutes of the game, when sophomore forward Natalie Vukic placed a ball over redshirt goalkeeper Chandler Morris to equalize the game.
The Sun Devils still had the upper hand going into overtime, given that they had started stronger both halves, but an almost immediate turnover by Arizona State led to a quick corner.
Utah senior defender Megan Trabert headed the corner past Morris to give the Utes the golden goal victory.
The defeat does not immediately disqualify Arizona State from the NCAA playoffs, but it does put them in a must-win situation going into the final two games of the season.
They will play again on Sunday away against Colorado at 2 p.m.