Soccer Falls To WUSA's San Diego Spirit, 4-1
April 2, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State women's soccer team continued their spring exhibition season on Saturday with a 4-1 loss to the San Diego Spirit of the Women's United Soccer Association. The Spirit, whose roster is dotted with U.S. National Team stars, used a three-goal spurt in a 25-minute span of the second half to secure the victory in front of 695 fans at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium.
Brittany Cooper scored the Sun Devils' lone goal, as ASU became the first collegiate team to score on San Diego during their preparations for the upcoming WUSA season.
'This was great for our team and I'm really proud of our players,' said Arizona State head coach Ray Leone after the game. 'San Diego has some real superstars and they play some great soccer. We scored a goal on them and were only down 1-0 for two-thirds of the game; I'm happy with how it went.'
The game was scoreless until the 36th minute when former Santa Clara standout and US Women's National Team player Aly Wagner broke the deadlock off of a feed from Brazilian midfielder Daniela.
That is how the game stood until the Spirit's second-half outburst. National team veteran Shannon MacMillan slotted a shot past Sun Devil goalie Hilary Wilson in the 57th minute from an assist by Canadian National Team forward Christine Latham.
The roles were reversed ten minutes later, as MacMillan turned provider, crossing to Latham in the center of the penalty area who slotted it home from 8 yards out.
MacMillan notched her second goal of the game, and the Spirit's fourth, in the 82nd minute. US National Team captain Julie Foudy played a through ball for MacMillan who made no mistake from 12 yards.
The Sun Devils would reply though only two minutes later. ASU midfielder Haley van Blommestein's pass found the head of Brittany Cooper, who flicked a header over the outstretched arm of San Diego goalie Jenni Branam to close the gap to 4-1.
San Diego outshot ASU 24 to six for the game and were flagged offside five times to the Sun Devils' one. The Spirit committed 10 fouls to ASU's four.
The goalies for both sides came up with some magnificent saves late in the game. Arizona State's Wilson stopped point-blank attempts late from Christine Latham and Shannon MacMillan while San Diego's Branam stopped a breakaway attempt from ASU midfielder Manya Makoski.
'We had some good offensive chances today, but we just couldn't finish them all,' said Leone.
Wilson had five saves on the game to Branam's two. In the first half, Sun Devil goalie Kelly Fitzgerald had one save.