(Photo: John Mendoza/WCSN)
Looking comfortable on their home turf, the Arizona State women’s soccer team (3-0-1) defeated Columbia University, 3-0 Friday night.
The matchup was the opener in the annual Sun Devil Desert Classic, a round-robin tournament. Dubbed the “Game of the Week” by the 942 Crew (an ASU fan group), ASU Men’s Basketball head coach Bobby Hurley was in attendance at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium.
The Sun Devils came out in the first half with multiple quick scoring opportunities, but failed to capitalize in the game’s early stages. Arizona State was able to put pressure on the Lions throughout the half, dominating possession and controlling the tempo, but with no goals coming to fruition in the first 20 minutes
ASU was finally able to convert on a successful through ball, with Senior forward Larisa Staub finding the back of the net off a deflection by the opposing keeper, putting the Sun Devils up 1-0. The goal was the senior forward’s first of the year. Sophomore midfielder Adriana Orozco was credited with the assist.
“It always feels good to score the first goal, especially after not playing for the last 5 games,” Staub said. “I did as much as I could, slide tackled in there and I ended up with the goal.”
Only seven minutes later, Junior forward Madison Kmetko scored her first goal of the year, finishing a corner kick from Orozco with a well-placed header.
The pair of goals gave ASU a 2-0 lead going into halftime, as well as momentum in their favor.
That momentum carried over into the second half, with Junior forward Jazmarie Mader adding a third goal for the Sun Devils 2 minutes into play. The Junior from Chandler took advantage of a misplay by Columbia keeper Sophie Whitehouse, and perfectly pocketed the ball into the upper right corner.
“There’s nowhere to go but up, I’m feeling really good, I’m feeling really good about the team, I’m super happy with everybody’s performance,” Mader said. “It’s hard to not thrive in a setting where everyone wants to do well.”
For Columbia, their chances were few and far between. The Sun Devils played stifling defense all night, holding their opponents to only 3 shots all game, and resulting in a quiet night for ASU keeper Megan Delaney.
The Sun Devils return to action on Sunday, taking on the Pioneers of Denver University, and will look to keep their winning streak intact.