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ASU Soccer: Sun Devils say goodbye to seniors

( Liesl Babicka/WCSN)

As the season came to a close Friday, five seniors finished out their Sun Devil soccer careers.

“It [went] by really fast” said senior captain Lucy Lara about her ASU career. “I feel like I was here a year ago as a freshman and now I’m leaving.”

Lara did not expect to come to ASU when she started the college search process but is happy with how things turned out.

“I didn’t even look at the west coast, I was a big south girl,” Lara said.  “I wanted to stay home, but my path just took me here and I’m so glad what happened happened because I love ASU.”

With her time at ASU in the books, she may be on to bigger things in the future. She was called up to the Mexican national team in 2012, and was considered for a spot as recently as 2014. But while Lara’s future plans are not completely known, her time with ASU soccer will be remembered.

“I think she’s been a wonderful impact on our program,” said head coach Kevin Boyd. “She definitely is passionate at all times and that passion occasionally gets the best of her and there’s where your challenges lie, but I’d rather have that than someone that has no pulse; I’ll take someone like Lucy any day.”

Similarly, senior forward Larisa Staub may have a future with her respective national team. She was an integral part of the silver-medal winning Canadian team at the U-17 CONCACAF championship in 2012.

Staub reflected on her career as a Sun Devil, echoing the sentiment of Lara calling the end of her career “bittersweet”. She also recalled a conversation with last year’s star senior Cali Farquharson about being a senior.

“I actually talked to Cali Farquharson last year and was like ‘What was the best part of senior year?’ and she said ‘Knowing that every game is your last game against that opponent’,” Staub said. “I really took that to heart this year and played my heart out.”

Staub made an impact largely off the bench this season, scoring three goals including the tying goal late in regulation at Washington in what was ASU’s lone Pac-12 win.

On the defensive side of the ball, ASU’s biggest loss will undoubtedly be McKenzie Grossman. She started 63 of 74 games over her four years at ASU, including every game this season. She was named defensive MVP of the team in 2015, and has continued to anchor a young backline this season.

Grossman reflected on her career as a Sun Devil after Senior Day Sunday.

“My career here has been so amazing, I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world,” she said. “I love ASU, it will always be home, and I’ve had the best four years that anyone could have.”

It is unknown if or how Grossman will be involved in soccer after she graduates from ASU, but she didn’t rule out a future return to the school in some capacity.

“Maybe for grad school,” Grossman said about a potential return. “I’m done with eligibility, but who knows maybe I end with soccer and come back for grad school.”

The other two seniors whose ASU careers ended Friday are goalie Ashley March and defender Annie Warren.

March made her first regular season start of her ASU career Sunday versus Stanford, as she recorded two saves, allowed two goals (one on a penalty kick), and faced twelve shots total.

“It was the greatest experience ever, that’s how I wanted to come out.” March said of her start on senior night. “To be able to come out on my senior day and make an impact, that meant a lot to me.”

March was injured for a majority of the first half of the season, limiting her ability to get on the field.

Also, senior defender Annie Warren was with the team one last time Friday. She saw limited minutes early in the season in wins against Columbia and Northern Illinois.

Warren is very active off the field, as she is the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for the second year in a row, according to thesundevils.com. She also promotes anti-domestic violence messages with the help of Sun Devil Athletics.

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