(Photo: Steve Rodriguez-ASU Athletics)
The women’s soccer team kicks off their season on Friday night, as they go up against Northern Arizona University. The Sun Devils finished tied for fourth place in the Pac-12 last season – their best finish since 2004. They are also coming off a spring in which they went a perfect 9-0. In this installment of Coach’s Corner WCSN catches up with Coach Kevin Boyd to talk about the upcoming season.
Q. How do you carry the momentum from spring over to this season?
A. I think the spring gives us an idea of what’s possible. I think it showed us the make up of our team. It doesn’t guarantee success or failure for the the fall, but what it does is it tells us is we are dangerous in the attack. This team is capable of scoring goals. It also showed us some areas where we need to get better in.
Q. Could you talk about what you want to see from your team in your first outing against Northern Arizona?
A. I want to see the players starting to show and understand our system. I want to see some people step up. It’s also about getting the jitters out. If they can get through that first game they’ll be ready going forward.
Q. You return your top two scorers Cali Farquharson and Devin Marshall this season. What do you expect out of them?
A. I think both of them should continue where they left off last year. Devin is going into her senior year, and she absolutely wrecked people in the spring. She’s in a really good place right now. And then Cali is just special. They’re both just incredible players that feed off of each other. They’re both tactically smart, but they both bring something different. With Devon it’s a little bit more going all out and working really hard for a scrappy goal, as well as being able to score the great goal. Cali can spin the defenders backwards and forwards, and have them running around her in circles. What’s great is that we have those two, and our attacking mid fielder Holland Crook, who I think is going to have a great year.
Q. You have eight new players this season, including the two transfers. What do you think they bring to the team?
A. Right now our recruit Larisa Staub will be starting at right back for us. She has a lot of really good traits, and she is going to be a great player for us some day. Right now there’s a learning curve for her playing at this level, but what’s great is that she has such a positive attitude. Both of our transfers are vying for a midfield spot. It’s a challenge for both of them since Pac-12 soccer is a level higher than what they played at before. We have Mackenzie Grossman, another one of our recruits who is doing a nice job and will be getting time in out back line. I’m hoping that we can keep her coming off fresh off the bench. Of the three forwards we recruited, Katie Mohr is probably the most ready of the three. She carries a competitive, rugged style of play.
Q. Where do you think you stack up in the Pac-12 this year.
A. We were voted by our peers to finish fifth in the Pac. I would put us easily in that category, but our goals are higher than that. I believe that we’re a better team than that. If we can do what I expect we can do, I think we will be challenging for a Pac-12 supremacy. I think that we should be winning playoff games, and we should be able to be a top-20 team. All of that is possible.
Q. What is the thing your team needs to improve on the most?
A. Defending. It’s been our defending that we’ve been focusing on. We can’t give people easy chances. If we can stop giving up easy chances, we’re going to be a team to be reckoned with.
Q. Anything else you would like to say about your team?
A. We’re an entertaining team. We have two of the most special forwards in the country in Devon and Cali, and if Holland performs how I expect her to, our attack should be fun to watch.
Be sure to check back at cronkitesports.com for the most in-depth soccer coverage this fall.
You can reach Mauricio Casillas on Twitter @maucasillas94 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org