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ASU Outplayed but Couldn't Outlast Cal in 2OT

Apr 2, 2021

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Regulation wasn't enough as the Sun Devil Soccer team (7-2-2, 3-1-2) took the California Golden Bears (5-3-1, 3-3-0) to double overtime and eventually suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss on Friday night at Sun Devil Stadium. This is the Sun Devils' first loss in conference play and first home loss this season. 

ASU is now 2-1-2 in games that go to overtime.

"We're disappointed, but the fact that we've gone toe-to-toe with six incredible Pac-12 programs and find ourselves with a 3-1-2 record, I couldn't be more proud," said head coach Graham Winkworth. "We're in the conversation, and we're focused on finishing as high on the table as we can.. and this season has been an incredible success." 

The Sun Devils were aggressive on the attack as they had 20 shots with 11 shots on goal. Freshman midfielder Jazmine Wilkinson scored her first career goal in the 34th minute, giving them the lead in the first half. 

"It feels amazing to get my first goal," said Wilkinson. "It was a great team effort, and I have to credit to Alexia (Delgado) for that amazing ball. It just feels great - love getting in the air, love getting those headers, and felt amazing to finally get one in."

From there, it was a close contest as both teams played tight defense until the Bears scored in the second half in the 67th minute to knot the scoreboard. This time, the golden goal did not go in ASU's favor, and Cal snuck past Cascapera to seal the double OT win. 

"We created chance, after chance, after chance, and we just weren't clinical enough today," said junior Nicole Douglas. "They took their chance right at the end of the game."
 

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • ASU and Cal battled in the midfield for the first ten minutes before either team gained traction into the zone
  • Cori Sullivan, Alexia Delgado, and Nicole Douglas all pressured the Bears backline with three shots on goal in eight minutes
  • The Sun Devils found the net in the 34th minute off an excellent header by freshman midfielder Jazmine Wilkinson. The top-shelf knock is Wilkinson's first career goal. 
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Giulia Cascapera kept the Bears off the board in the first half with four saves.
  • Nicole Douglas went on a run to start the second half with four shot attempts in four minutes of play. 
  • The Bears tied things up in the 67th minute. In the 71st minute, Cascapera showed elite keeping skills, fending off a scrum in the box and back-to-back shots by the Bears. 
  • The Sun Devils went to overtime for the fifth time this season. 
  • Cascapera opened overtime with a crucial save to keep the game tied. She ended the day with 11 saves.
  • ASU had a flurry of chances in the final minutes of the first overtime as a corner kick led to a shot by Wilkinson to close out the first OT. 
  • The Sun Devils celebrated senior night as they recognized Taylor Culver.

"I want to congratulate Coach McGuire and his team for an incredibly well played game. It must have been a fun one for the neutral," Winkworth concluded. 
 

Up Next: The Sun Devils will look to bounce back as they host the reigning national champions, Stanford, on Sunday at 4 P.M. The game will be available to watch on the Pac-12 Network. 

A WORD WITH WINKWORTH
On thoughts on performance today:
"I'm really proud of the girls. I thought they worked extremely hard. We need to be a little bit more clinical in front of the goal, and I thought we had enough chances to win the game, and if they go in early, then we don't go into overtime. So really proud of the effort, been phenomenal. Obviously disappointed. The team has faced a lot of adversity; we've had a lot of changes to the roster as this season has gone on with long-term injuries and now health issues with the pandemic. We're going to fight with whatever we've got, and I'm proud of the team and the way that the players are facing that adversity and not using it as an excuse."

On prep for success in overtime:
"It's difficult to prepare for. You have to monitor the fatigue of both teams. Neither team will be completely lively when they've been playing for 90 minutes, so we get to be a bit more direct at times during the overtime period. It's just about who wants it. Unfortunately, they took theirs. I can't fault the way we defended because we've been phenomenal all season long, and that's only the second time that we've had a multiple-goal against us game. We defended well."

On Alexia's contribution to the team:
"She is the best leader, the ultimate professional. She has aspirations to play pro after college, which she can do without question. I've had a lot of quality captains in my 20 years as a head coach, and I think she's probably the strongest captain I've had in 20 years. She is a different level - with her technical ability and her soccer IQ but her influence on other players and bringing them up to be strong leaders as well. She has been a major part in the positive shift that our culture has gone through over the last 18 months as well. We've got incredible leadership throughout this set of players, and she is the icing on the cake in that respect. An incredible leader." 

On what to take away from this game heading into Stanford:
"The team has to be able to bounce back. Two weeks ago, we lost at Arizona, and then we bounced back to defeat UCLA. They have to believe. I'm devastated, just like the players when it comes to losing a soccer game, especially in the manner in which we lost it, but two weeks ago, we lost to UA, and we responded by putting in an incredible performance at the No. 3 team in the nation. Stanford is an incredible soccer team. But what an opportunity to bounce back against the national champions. So I'm hopeful on Sunday afternoon that I'll be falling over on the side of the field like I did against UCLA with an immense victory. Our season is not going to be defined by this weekend. We can win on Sunday, and that will be an incredible victory, but that's not going to decide on Sunday if we make the national tournament or not, and the same thing in defeat. We'll believe we can beat Stanford, and we're going to give it everything we've got. Everything in our power to beat the national champions."