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Sun Devil Soccer Looks to Extend Winning Streak This Weekend

Sep 11, 2014

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The Sun Devil soccer team will take the trip down the I-10 this week to play in its third tournament this year, the Arizona Cats Classic. ASU will first face New Mexico State on Friday at 4:30 p.m before closing out the weekend on Sunday when it faces Nevada at noon.

Both of this week’s games are against first-time opponents.

The Sun Devils are 4-1-1 after their first six games of the season. They opened the 2014 campaign by rallying from a two-goal deficit to tie Texas 2-2 in Hawaii. They then got their first win of the season with a 5-2 triumph at Hawaii (Aug. 24). They came up on the short end for the first time two weeks ago at Illinois (3-1) before bouncing back to defeat Loyola Chicago 3-1 in their next game (Aug. 31). Last week the Sun Devils improved their current winning streak to three games with home wins over Oklahoma State (2-0) and sixth-ranked Texas A&M (2-1). 

COVERAGE

Friday’s game will be webcast on the University of Arizona’s website. Live stats will be available for both games. Links for all of this weekend’s multimedia can be located here. There will be no webcast of Sunday's game vs. Nevada.

SUN DEVIL STORYLINES

• With their win over Texas A&M, the Sun Devils made their first appearance in the Top 25 of one poll – Soccer America, where they are ranked No. 22 this week. ASU also received 16 posts in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Women’s National poll, which places them 11 spots outside the NSCAA’s Top 25. They are ranked No. 7 in NSCAA’s Pacific Region rankings.

• Despite their 4-1-1 record, the Sun Devils enter this week’s contests tied for eighth place. in the Pac-12 standings Ten of the 12 teams in the conference started this week with one or fewer losses.

• ASU is currently in the midst of a stretch in which it is playing seven of its first nine games away from home to start the season. The stretch ends next week when ASU goes on the road to face CSUN.

• ASU enters this week’s contests tied for third in the Pac-12 in goals (15) and assists (11) and is third in number of corner kicks.

• Freshman midfielder Aly Moon currently leads the team and the Pac-12 in goals (5), and also tied for most points in the Pac-12 with 11.

• Farquharson played the first 16 minutes of ASU’s season opener vs. Texas before sitting out the remainder of the contest due to an injury sustained earlier in the week. She did not play in ASU’s following contest at Hawaii (Aug. 24). She returned for ASU’s game at Illinois (Aug. 29) and scored her first two goals of the season in ASU’s contest at Loyola Chicago (Aug. 31).

• Farquharson is currently tied with former teammate Devin Marshall (2010-13) for eighth place on ASU’s all-time list with 22 goals. She needs one more goal to tie Antoinette Marjanovic (1997, 99-01) for seventh place and two more to tie Manya Makoski (2002-05) for sixth place.

• Three freshmen – Moon, forward Jessica Raybe and defender Madison Stark – have started every game this season. Other freshmen who have started include goalkeeper Lexi Bounds (3 games played/2 starts) and forward Jazmarie Mader (6/4). Other freshmen to see action this season include forward Alex Albaeck (1) defender Taylor Coon (2 games), midfielder Keeley Gormley (1) and midfielder Madison Kmetko (5).

• Returning players who have earned the first starting assignments of their career thus far include senior midfielder Brianna Gonzalez (5 starts), junior midfielder Whitney Kanavel (1 start), redshirt sophomore defender Alyssa Martinez (5 starts) and junior defender Rachel Ometer (1 start came at forward).

NOTES FROM LAST WEEK

• Appearing at home for the first time in 2014, ASU won the Sun Devil Classic, capturing wins over Oklahoma State (2-0) and No. 6 Texas A&M (2-1).

• Aly Moon and Lucy Lara both scored goals in the second half to lead the Sun Devil soccer team to a 2-0 win over Oklahoma State in Friday’s first day of the Sun Devil Classic. For Moon, it was her team-leading fifth goal of the season (assisted by Cali Farquharson) while Lara notched the first goal of her career by navigating a free kick through a wall of defenders.
• Redshirt junior goalkeeper Chandler Morris made five saves against the Cowgirls to post ASU’s first shutout of the season. 

• After having a pair of assists two weeks ago redshirt junior Mackenzie Semerad scored her first goal as a Sun Devil with the game-winner against Texas A&M (88th minute). Rachel Ometer scored her second goal of the season (and career) to tie the game at 1-1 after the Aggies captured the lead less than four minutes into the game.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE CENTER BACKS

Providing the Sun Devils with a big lift in both of last week’s wins were their center backs – sophomore Mckenzie Grossman and junior Sara Tosti.

Both players were honored for their efforts in the two wins as Grossman was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week in addition to the College Sports Madness Pac-12 and National Player of the week while Tosti was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s National Team of the Week. 

Grossman started at center back in place in ASU’s top and most experienced defender McKenzie Berryhill, who missed both of ASU’s Sun Devil Classic games due to injury. Tosti, who started on the back line as a freshman and on the front line as a sophomore, has started every game this season on ASU’s back line.

MOON NAMED PAC-12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Aly Moon earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors on August 26 following her outstanding debut weekend in ASU’s contests at the Outrigger Resort Shootout (Aug. 22 & 24 in Honolulu, Hawaii). Moon tied a single-game school record with three goals and was one point shy (7) of tying the single-game school record for scoring (currently held by junior Cali Farquharson, who had 8 points vs. USC in 2012) in ASU’s 5-2 win at Hawaii on Aug. 24. In addition, Moon also played a big role in ASU rallying from two goals down to tie Texas, 2-2 in the season opener (Aug. 22). Moon would set up the tying goal after she drew a penalty kick with 5:31 remaining in the game. In addition to being recognized by the Pac-12, Moon was also named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s team of the week.

Moon scored her fourth goal of the season in ASU’s contest at Illinois (Aug. 29). She added her fifth goal (rebounded Cali Farquharson’s shot which was knocked down by GK) in ASU’s 2-0 win vs. Oklahoma State (Sept. 7). Moon currently leads the Pac-12 in goals per game (0.83) and is tied for the league lead in points per game (1.83).

IN A NUTSHELL

This season the ASU returns six regular starters from last year’s team that went 9-8-2 and came just short of earning the program’s fourth NCAA berth in a five-year span. Included among the returning starters are junior forward and leading scorer Cali Farquharson (2013 All-Pac-12 Second Team, 2013 NSCAA All-Pacific Region Second Team) and junior defender McKenzie Berryhill (2013 All-Pac-12 Second Team, 2013 NSCAA All-Pacific Region Third Team).  

FEAR THE FARQ

ASU’s most dangerous scoring threat since her freshman season in 2012, junior Cali Farquharson will look to continue the brilliance that last year enabled her to become the first Sun Devil to score double-digit goals in consecutive seasons (10 in 2012 and 10 in 2013) since 2003. 

Farquharson, who earned Pac-12 All-Freshman honors in 2012 and second-team All-Pac-12 and second-team NSCAA All-Region accolades in 2013, was second in the Pac-12 in goals per game (0.53) and third in points per game (1.16) last season. 

A Valley native (Shadow Mountain HS/Phoenix, Ariz), Farquharson led ASU in goals (10) and points (24) in 2012. Her 10 goals tied for the seventh-highest single-season total by a Sun Devil while her 24 points were the 10th-highest single-season total in program history. Farquharson’s three goals against USC in 2012 tied both the school record and the highest single-game total by a Pac-12 player in 2012. Her eight points (three goals, two assists) against USC also set a new single-game school record and were the most by any Pac-12 player in 2012.

Farquharson, who owns the school record for most consecutive games scoring a goal (8 - last three games in 2012 and first five games of 2013), is also tied for ninth on ASU’s all-time list in game-winning goals with six.

Farquharson played the first 16 minutes of ASU’s season opener vs. Texas before sitting out the remainder of the contest due to an injury sustained earlier in the week. She did not play in ASU’s following contest at Hawaii. She returned for ASU’s game at Illinois (Aug. 29) and would score her first two goals of the season in ASU’s 3-1 win at Loyola Chicago (Aug. 31). With the two goals, Farquharson is currently tied for eighth with former teammate Devin Marshall (2010-13) on ASU’s all-time list for career goals (22). She added an assist (on Aly Moon’s goal) in ASU’s 2-0 win vs. Oklahoma State (Sept. 5). Currently with 50 career points (22 goals, six assists), Farquharson is 10th on ASU’s all-time list. She needs five more points to tie Marshall for ninth place.

BERRYHILL TO GUIDE YOUNG SUN DEVIL DEFENSE

A starter in 38 of 42 career contests, junior McKenzie Berryhill is proving to be a rising star on the Sun Devils’ back line. Named second-team All-Pac-12 and third-team NSCAA All-Region last season, Berryhill’s experience will be especially critical this season following the loss of two mainstays for the better part of the last four years, Jasmine Roth and Kaitlyn Pavlovich. Berryhill played every minutes of ASU’s 19 games last season. She was named to the CS360 Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll for her play in ASU’s games at No. 11 Cal (Oct. 4) and at No. 2 Stanford (Oct. 6) last season. In the latter contest, helped ASU’s 1-0 lead stand up as ASU snapped Stanford’s 73-game unbeaten streak at home and its 44-game conference winning streak. 

Although known for her defense, it was Berryhill’s offense that was the story of ASU season-opening 2-2 tie vs. Texas. With ASU down two goals at the half, Berryhill, who had one career goal to her credit coming into the game, scored two in the second half (one on a header and one on a PK) to help ASU come out with a draw.

Berryhill missed ASU’s contests vs. Oklahoma State (Sept. 5) and Texas A&M (Sept. 7) due to an injury in ASU’s prior game at Loyola Chicago (Aug. 31). 

FARQUHARSON, BERRYHILL AND LARA CALLED INTO NATIONAL TEAM CAMPS OVER THE SUMMER

Earlier this summer Farquharson and Berryhill were both participants in the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team’s training camp. Also getting national team experience was redshirt sophomore midfielder Lucy Lara, who participated in Mexico’s women’s national team’s training camp. Lara made her Sun Devil debut last season after being sidelined with a knee injury incurred prior to the 2012 campaign. She played in 13 games in 2013 and contributed a pair of assists.

TOSTI GIVES SUN DEVILS VALUABLE VERSATILITY

Prior to her Sun Devil career, junior Sara Tosti spent most of her career up top in the attacking position. That changed in 2012 when the coaching staff recognized Tosti’s skills would allow her to transition to the back line where she could be most effective given the team’s personnel situation at the time. She would go on to play all 21 games as a freshman, including starting assignments in 14 games.

Last season Tosti returned to her natural position up top and proved to be just as effective as she started all but one game. She had a remarkable stretch during the early portion of the Pac-12 season as her critical contributions helped pave the way for ASU’s first three conference wins. She assisted on Devin Marshall’s game-winning goal with 19 seconds left in ASU’s 1-0 win over USC (Sept. 29). One week later (Oct. 6) Tosti was named the Pac-12’s Offensive Player of the Week after she scored the only goal of the game in ASU’s 1-0 upset of (then) second-ranked Stanford. One week after that, Tosti was responsible for the game-winning goal in ASU’s 1-0 win at Oregon (Oct. 11). 

Tosti has once again returned to the back line this season where her experience is helping to make up for the combination of losing two regular starters from last season in addition to the team’s relative lack of experience in that part of the field. She has started all six of ASU’s game on ASU’s back line in 2014. She was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s National Team of the Week following ASU’s wins over Oklahoma State (Sept. 5) and Texas A&M (Sept. 7).

NOTES

• Going back to 2012, ASU has won 18 of the 19 contests in which it has scored first (18-0-1). The only game it did not win in that span when it scored first was at Oregon State on Oct. 19, 2012, a game which ended in a 1-1 tie.

• Freshman Aly Moon scored five goals in ASU’s first five games. The only Sun Devil freshman to have a better start to her career was Patrice Feulner, who scored seven goals her first five games and 10 in her first six games in 2000. Feulner had back-to-back hat tricks in the fifth and sixth games of her career (consecutive 7-0 home wins by ASU over Pittsburgh on Sept. 10 and vs. Eastern Michigan on Sept. 15).

• Junior Tommi Goodman returns as ASU’s most experienced player in the midfield. Goodman has played in all 46 of ASU’s contests since 2012 with 36 starts to her credit. She recorded an assist in ASU’s 3-1 win at Loyola Chicago (Aug. 31) and added another in ASU’s win over No. 6 Texas A&M (Sept. 7).

• Sophomores McKenzie Grossman (18 games/11 starts in 2012) and Larisa Staub (18 games/8 starts in 2012) logged the most starts of any of ASU’s freshmen last season. 

• In 2012 ASU was 6-2 in one-goal games and 2-0-2 in overtime games. They were 5-4 in the former and 2-1-2 in the latter in 2013. They have only had a single one-goal game thus far in 2014 and came out on the winning end, a 2-1 decision over No. 6 Texas A&M (Sept. 7).

ACADEMIC SUCCESS

On the academic side, the Sun Devils have earned Pac-10/12 All-Academic notice 82 times in Boyd’s seven seasons, including 23 first-team members and 10 second-team members. ASU’s 20 first-team commendations the last six seasons (2008-13) are the most of any school in the Pac-12 during that span. In addition, soccer student-athletes have combined for eight Academic All-America awards since 2007, most recently former Sun Devils Jasmine Roth (second team) and Kaitlyn Pavlovich (third team) in 2013. Roth was also named the Pac-12’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year on 2013.