(Photo: Nicole Neri/WCSN)
The Arizona State women’s soccer team (5-3-1) returns home to Tempe, Arizona to take on Utah (6-2-1) after suffering a loss to No. 11 ranked UCLA in Los Angeles.
In the early season, the Sun Devils have been led by forward Jazmarie Mader who is second in the Pac-12 in scoring with six goals on the year. She has also dazzled everyone with her passing skills. Now that more teams have began to focus in on the junior she has been able to set up her teammates, giving them an opportunity to score.
This young ASU team has been starting freshman goalkeeper Emma Malsy, who had an impressive game against a proficient and talented UCLA squad.
Malsy had six saves against a UCLA offense that was pressing for, what seemed like, the whole match. She is still learning how to command the defense, but her effort against UCLA is very promising as she prepares to stop this Utah team.
Forward Natalie Stephens has been seeing more and more shots as well and this continued as she got two shots off against the Bruins. The sophomore has been a focal point for the offense as of late and when she gets going, the ASU forwards can be tough to defend.
Utah opened up Pac-12 play with a 1-0 win over University of Washington. Along with its win over Washington, the Utes had five wins in preseason.
Forward Hailey Skolmoski leads the Utes with six goals on 24 total shots this season. Carly Nelson and July Mathias have played similar amounts of time at goalkeeper this year. The two have started five games and four games, respectively. Nelson has clearly been the more productive keeper as she has saved 17 goals compared Mathias’ five.
The Sun Devils will look to get their sixth win of the season as they take on the Utes at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium Thursday at 4:30 p.m.