Sun Devil Soccer Blanks Visiting Loyola, 2-0
Aug. 28, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - For the third time in program history, the Arizona State University soccer program has opened the season with back-to-back shutouts, this time blanking visiting Loyola (Md.), 2-0, Monday night inside Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. The victory pushed the Sun Devils' record to 2-0-0 on the year while dropping the Greyhounds to 0-1-0.
For the second match in a row, the Sun Devil rookies opened the scoring for the team before the veterans closed out the scoring with both goals coming in the second half of play. After the intermission, rookie Liz Harkin carried the ball down the center of the field before sliding a pass to her right at the top of the box where fellow freshman Dante Perea collected the pass and fired a shot to the opposite post, beating keeper Brittany Henderson for the 1-0 lead in the 49th minute.
With the defense making several big stops during the contest, the offense continued to press, this time striking for the insurance goal in the 82nd minute. For the second match in a row, Alissa Oldenkamp brought the ball into the offensive zone and then crossed the ball to a waiting Courtney Crane who found the back of the empty net for her second goal of the year.
Defensively, the Sun Devils allowed eight shots with two coming on goal. The first save made by Kim Bingham came in the first half of play as the Greyhounds produced a breakaway shot with Bingham sliding forward to block the attempt and keep the match scoreless. Bingham also thwarted another attempt late in the match to secure the victory and her second shut out of the young season.
The last time the Sun Devil defense shut out back-to-back opponents came in the 2003 season when ASU recorded consecutive 1-0 blankings of conference foes Oregon State and Washington. The Sun Devils did open two other seasons with two shut outs in a row, pulling the feat in both 2000 and 2001. In 2000, ASU opened with a 3-0 victory at Northern Arizona before returning home to blank visiting Michigan, 4-0. One year later, the Sun Devils traveled to Waco, Texas, where they blanked host Baylor, 3-0, before downing LaSalle, 6-0.
The Sun Devils return to the home pitch for two matches this weekend as part of the 2006 Heather Farr Kicks Against Breast Cancer Invitational. On Friday, Loyola will take on St. Louis at 4:30 p.m. before the Sun Devils meet No. 2 Florida State at 7 p.m. Then, on Sunday, Loyola and Florida State will play at 10:30 a.m. before the Sun Devils and Billikens close out the event with their match at 1 p.m.