(Photo: James Powel/WCSN)
In the final game of the Sun Devil Desert Classic, University of Denver pulled off an upset victory over Arizona State, defeating them 3-1 and handing them their first loss of the season.
Denver opened up the scoring early on a nearly 20-yard rip from forward Mary Dewalt. Shortly after, Jazmarie Mader responded with a rebound goal, but it was called offsides.
Denver almost scored again in the 10th minute, hitting the far post on a long shot from the right wing. After that, ASU started to control possession and scoring chances. Among the highlights was a header by Mader in the 13th minute that was deflected by Denver goalie Cassidy Rey off the crossbar.
The Sun Devils had another impressive offensive raid with just over five minutes left in the half, getting two shots and one on goal. But it was Denver that finished strong. The Pioneers scored on a free kick cross from the right wing that slipped through the fingers of goalie Megan Delaney, and was tapped in by Karina Fredette two seconds before the end of the half.
Despite the two goal deficit, the Sun Devils outshot Denver 9-4 in the first half, and 2-0 on goal. But head coach Kevin Boyd made it clear the team needed to step it up and come out harder in the second half, according to junior midfielder Aly Moon.
The Sun Devils continued to get offensive chances coming out of the break, and their persistence paid off in the 54th minute on a Jazmarie Mader goal. Mader settled a long pass upfield from Moon, then dribbled towards the center and buried a left-footed shot off the far post and in for her team-leading fourth goal of the season.
“I think that I am feeling very confident in myself and in this team,” Mader said. “We are going to come out and do great things this year.”
ASU continued their offensive pressure as the half progressed, but Denver changed the dynamic of the game for good with a 73rd minute goal. On a free kick from just outside the top of the box, it took two one touch passes and a cross for the Sun Devil defense to unravel, as freshman Hannah Alder scored amongst the chaos in the box putting Denver up two for good.
After the game, Boyd gave credit to Denver.
“They were very focused and intent on doing everything possible to get a result,” Boyd said.“We made errors all over the place from the goal, to the backline, to the midfield, to the front line, and that’s just not good enough. We need to play significantly better than that.”
Arizona State will return to action Friday at 4:30 p.m., when they take on the University of San Francisco at the Cats Classic in Tucson.