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ASU Soccer: Sun Devils travel to Tucson for weekend round robin

(James Powel/WCSN)

The Arizona State Women’s Soccer team (3-1-1) heads to Tucson this weekend to partake in the Cats Classic, an in season round robin tournament hosted by the University of Arizona.

ASU’s first game will be Friday, as they take on the University of San Francisco Dons (2-4-0).

Coming off a surprising first loss of the season to the University of Denver, a team that had scored two goals in their first five games, ASU is looking to regroup this weekend.

“We talked on Tuesday about our loss this weekend, but we’re going to put that behind us,” junior defender Madison Stark said. “We need to focus on this weekend and doing well in the rest of non-conference going into [Pac 12 play].”

The big question looming over the Sun Devils as they head into this weekend’s action is the goaltending position.

After Sunday’s game, head coach Kevin Boyd said that the goalkeeper situation will be reevaluated.

“We’ve known it’s been close, and to Megan [Delaney’s] credit she’s been a gamer up until tonight, she’s played quite well, and I don’t know what happened tonight, but it goes wide open again.”

In Sunday’s game, starting goalie Delaney was pulled after a rough first half.

She let two long shots get past her in the first 10 minutes, one of which she was bailed out on by the left post. But on a desperate free kick 10 seconds before halftime, Delaney misplayed a long pass into the mixer, letting it slip through her fingers as Denver put away a loose ball to go up two before the break. She was consequently replaced by freshman Emma Malsy in the second half.

In Coach Boyd’s words, Malsy played tentative.

“I think she got thrown into a situation that was down 2-0, and us trying to get it going. It was a valuable experience for her.”

To sum it up, Sunday’s disaster put the starting goalie competition back to square one.

At Thursday’s practice, Boyd gave no hints as to who would be starting Friday’s contest.

“All I can emphasize is [the goalie competition] is wide open and all three [goalies] are vying for it right now,” Boyd said. “I’m going to talk to [Assisstant Coach Colleen Boyd] and see what her opinion is. She has the most expertise in regards to goalkeeping. Her input is really going to determine the most of it.”

The third goalie in the discussion is Sydney Day, a sophomore who has yet to play in a game for ASU.

As for the opponent at hand, coach Boyd said, “It’s going to be good competition for us so I know it’s going to be quite a challenge.”

He cited his familiarity with coach Jim Millinder, who coached USC for 11 seasons before parting ways with them in 2006, and how hard his teams play.

San Francisco enters the game on a four game losing streak, so much like ASU, they will be determined to get their season going back in the right direction.

This weekends action starts against USF, Friday at 4:30 p.m.

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