(Photo: Steve Rodriguez/ ASU Athletics)
The Arizona State women’s soccer team remained winless in their last four games, as they dropped their Sunday meeting with the Washington State Cougars by a score of 1-0.
The lone goal of the match came in the 26th minute on a shot off the foot of midfielder Cara Wegner (her fifth on the year). Her shot sailed over the outstretched arms of Sun Devil goalkeeper Chandler Morris, and that would be all the Cougars would need to beat a struggling Sun Devil offense.
Arizona State appeared as if they would right the ship from the opening kick. Midfielder Holland Crook nearly assisted a header that went begging off the post not a minute into the game. Forward Cali Farquharson, the Sun Devil’s leading scorer, had four quick shots as well. With the Sun Devils offense appearing to be rejuvenated, it seemed as if one goal would open the floodgates and the onslaught would ensue.
However, the Sun Devils would only put 8 of 16 shots on goal, extending their streak of scoring less than one goal to nine games.
“I felt like we had better looks today,” Coach Kevin Boyd said, “The problem is we didn’t put them on frame. You don’t put them on frame, you don’t have a chance. Frustrating is the word for everybody right now. We’re in a drought. There’s no doubt about it.”
Possibly a bigger scare for the Sun Devils is the lack of production from sophomore forward Cali Farquharson, who has now been held scoreless in nine straight games. With the entire offense running primarily through her, the entire team has struggled as a result.
“Cali’s extremely frustrated,” Boyd said, “Unfortunately, now she’s trying to force it to happen. Nothing is coming naturally anymore. She’s trying to overdribble and beat [the defender] multiple times instead of just getting back to making a move and hitting a shot.”
“It’s not like I haven’t been getting shots, just haven’t found the back of the net,” Farquharson said, “Sometimes I find myself just focusing on scoring, rather than playing the game.”
Both Farquharson and Boyd did acknowledge the depth that the Pac-12 conference features, as only a few points separates first-place UCLA and the rest of the pack. However, with three games remaining on the schedule, Arizona State finds themselves in a challenging position.
Boyd stated that he believes the Sun Devils will have to win out in order to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Yet the Sun Devils were in this exact situation last year, and have proven that stringing together three straight wins to make the tournament is not out of reach.
Arizona State will host the University of Colorado and Utah next Friday and Sunday, respectively, before the season ending showdown in Tuscon against rival Arizona.