Sun Devil Soccer hosts third-ranked UCLA on Sunday at 3 p.m.
THE GAME: Sun Devil Soccer (8-1-2, 0-1-1 Pac-12) vs. No. 3 UCLA (9-0-1, 1-0-1 Pac-12)
WHEN: Sunday at 3 p.m. MST
WHERE: Sun Devil Soccer Stadium • Click here to purchase tickets
WATCH: Pac-12 Arizona/Los Angeles (Cable or satellite log-in required)
LIVE STATS: Click here
The Sun Devil soccer team (8-2-1, 0-1-1 Pac-12) will face its first Top 5 opponent of the season on Sunday (3 pm MST) when third-ranked UCLA (9-0-1, 1-0-1 Pac-12) visits Sun Devil Soccer Stadium.
The Sun Devils had an 8-1 record after nine games, the second most wins after nine games in program history. Included in ASU's wins was a 3-2 win over then-No. 21 and previously unbeaten Texas Tech on Sept. 12 in Tucson.
The Sun Devils opened Pac-12 play on Sept. 24 with a 2-2 tie at Washington and then lost their conference home opener to No. 21 USC, 2-1 on Thursday. It was the first time this season the Sun Devils dropped a contest decided by a single goal. They are now 5-1 in such contests.
Sunday's game vs. UCLA can be seen on Pac-12 Arizona/Los Angeles. Daron Sutton will have the call.
IN THE RANKINGS
After their 8-1 record in non-conference play, the Sun Devils earned a No. 15 ranking in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25, their highest ranking in program history. The voters were not very forgiving of the Sun Devils after their 2-2 tie at Washington (Sept. 24), dropping ASU out of the poll. ASU led among teams in the receiving votes category.
The Sun Devils initially entered the Top 25 on Aug. 31 after starting the season 3-0, including road wins at Mississippi State (1-0) and at UAB (5-1). ASU was downgraded to receiving votes after its 5-2 loss to then-No. 17 LSU. The Sun Devils moved back into the Top 25 after defeating Nebraska and then-unbeaten and then-No. 21 Texas Tech in (both matches were in Tucson).
LAST GAME - USC 2, ASU 1 - SEPTEMBER 30, 2021 - TEMPE, ARIZ.
Nicole Douglas' team-leading 12th goal of the season was not enough offense for the Sun Devil soccer team to overcome No. 21 USC on Thursday night as the visiting Trojans came away with a 2-1 win. Both teams had to play through windy – and at times dusty – conditions which made for a number of challenging situations. In some cases, the wind nullified possible scoring opportunities when the gusts would push otherwise on-target passes out of play. Douglas put ASU up in the 31st minute with her 12th goal of the season. The Trojans scored in the 44th minute and then scored the go-ahead goal in the 61st minute. Freshman GK Birta Gudlaugs made a season-high nine saves in the loss.
SERIES NOTES VS UCLA
ASU is 2-19-2 in the all-time series against UCLA. The Sun Devils captured their second all-time win over UCLA last season, 2-1 (OT) in Los Angeles. Cori Sullivan scored her first goal of the season in 99th minute to clinch the win over the third-ranked Bruins. With ASU down 1-0, Olivia Nguyen helped set the stage for Sullivan's fantastic finish with the game-tying goal in the 84th minute. ASU's other win over the Bruins, a 1-0, double-overtime decision, came at home in 2000. ASU Hall of Famer Stacey Tullock scored the game-winning goal with 32 seconds remaining in the second overtime.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• This was the second straight season ASU started 5-0. On Sept. 5, ASU was looking for its first 6-0 start since 2000 before being defeated by then-No. 17 LSU, 5-2. Last season ASU started 6-0-2 before its first loss in the season's ninth game. ASU's best winning streak to start a season came in 2000 when it started 9-0. ASU's 8-1 represented the second-most wins after nine games in program history.
• As of Oct. 1, ASU was among the top 50 teams in the nation in assists per game (28th/2.5), points per game (30th/7.5), scoring offense (32nd/2.6 goals per game) and shots on goal per game (8.0/49th)... Individually, Nicole Douglas third in the nation in goals per game (1.1) is fourth in game-winning goals (4), fourth in points per game (2.6) and 20th in shots on goal per game (2.4) and Eva van Deursen is 35th in assists per game (0.56).
• Douglas followed up the eighth multi-goal game of her career (two in ASU's 2-2 tie at Washington on Sept. 24) by scoring her 12th goal in 11 games in ASU's 2-1 loss to USC on Thursday. Douglas, who has scored at least one goal in eight of 11 games this season, is currently in third place on ASU's all-time list in both career goals (39) and career points (92) and is tied for second place in career GW goals (13). Douglas' 12 goals this season are tied for No. 5 on ASU's all-time single-season goals list, while her 28 points are tied for sixth. ASU Hall of Famer Stacey Tullock holds the single-season standards in both categories (17 goals/41 points in 1999).
• Douglas (12 goals) & fellow senior forward Olivia Nguyen (five goals) have combined for 17 of ASU's 28 goals. Although Douglas and Nguyen have accounted for the majority of the goals, the Sun Devils have had 10 different players find the back of the net.
• Eva van Deursen missed ASU's games vs. then-No. 21 Texas Tech and at Colorado College (national team call up). She made her presence immediately felt in her return at Washington (Sept. 24), as she and Kiki Stewart assisted on Douglas' first goal of the game. It was van Deursen's fifth assist of the season and 15th of her career, moving her into a tie for ninth-place on ASU's all-time career assists list.
• The Sun Devils started the season with a pair of true freshman goalkeepers – Julia Ortega and Birta Gudlaugs each played a half in ASU's first two games – as the team was forced to start the season without returning two-year starter Giulia Cascaperan due to injury. Gudlaugs has played every minute of in eight of ASU's last nine games, including three shutouts: at Mississippi State (Aug. 26 vs. Nebraska in Tucson (Sept. 9) and at Colorado College (Sept. 17).
• ASU has overcome 1-0 deficits in three of its wins: vs. Central Arkansas, vs. Southeastern Louisiana and vs. CSUN. The Sun Devils would go on to wins those games by a combined score of 12-4.
• ASU has scored at least one goal in every game and has scored multiple goals seven times this season.
• Because of injuries, the Sun Devils have had 19 different players in the starting lineup this season. Nicole Douglas, Olivia Nguyen and Callie Darst are the only players who have started every game this season.
DEVILS HAVE ACCUMULATED THREE PAC-12 POW AWARDS THIS SEASON
Nicole Douglas (Offensive POW/Week One), Lieske Carleer (Defensive POW/Week Two) and Birta Gudlaugs (goalkeeper of the week) have combined for three Pac-12 Player of the Week honors this season.
Douglas opened the season with a pair of goals and assisted on three others to tie the second-highest, single-game point total in program history (seven) in helping lead the Sun Devils to a 6-1 win over Central Arkansas on Aug. 19.
Both Carleer and Gudlaugs played big roles in helping the Sun Devils capture road wins at Mississippi State (1-0 on Aug. 26) and at UAB (5-1 on Aug. 29). Carleer played all but seven minutes of the two games and contributed to a defensive effort that allowed a single goal including a shutout at MSU and conceded only 13 shots in two games. Carleer helped ASU get off to a good start in the 5-1 win at UAB after the junior defender scored her first goal of the season in the 13th minute to give ASU an early 1-0 advantage. Gudlaugs earned the first shutout of her career in the win at Mississippi State. The true freshman keeper made eight saves in ASU's two wins and gave up a single goal in 180 minutes of play.
• Nicole Douglas – Has started all 62 of her career games.
• Lieske Carleer – Has started 42 of the 43 games she has played in/DNP vs. Nebraska (9/9) and did not start at Washington (Sept. 24), her first game coming back from injury.
• Giulia Cascapera – Started all 34 career games coming into the season. Is not likely to return from preseason injury.
• Callie Darst – Has started 25 straight games and 47 of 48 career games.
• Eva van Deursen – Has started last 22 games she has played in and 57 of 60 career games. Did not play vs. Texas Tech (9/12) and at Colorado College (9/17) due to international call-up.
• Alexia Delgado – Had started 16 of last 17 games she has played in and has started 50 of 57 career games. Returned from injury in ASU's contest at Washington (Sept. 24) after not playing since Aug. 22.
• Jessica Hale – Had started 21 of last 22 games. Did not play due to injury at Washington (Sept. 24) and vs. USC (Sept. 30).
• Jazmine Wilkinson – Has started 24 of 28 career games.
• Olivia Nguyen – Has started 27 of last 29 games.
• Cori Sullivan – Has started 27 of 40 career games.
• Olivia Kearse-Thomas – Has played in 75 games with 42 career starts.
RECAPPING LAST SEASON
ASU is coming off their best season under head coach Graham Winkworth, finishing the regular season with an 9-6-2 record and making the postseason for the first time since 2014 and the eighth time in school history. ASU made it to the second round of the tournament to become the fifth ASU soccer team to advance to that stage of NCAAs.
Winkworth and company boasted an undefeated non-conference slate, including an overtime comeback thriller at Grand Canyon to protect the win-streak. ASU continued its unbeaten streak through eight games and notched wins against UCLA, Stanford, and USC to become only the fourth team in history to beat all three programs in a single season. With a 4-4-2 record in Pac-12 Conference play, the Sun Devils finished in the middle of the table after being picked to finish last in the preseason poll.
The Sun Devils scored 28 goals in 17 games, second-most in the Pac-12 Conference. ASU boasted one of the strongest defensive lines in the Pac-12, conceding only 16 goals and forcing ASU's keepers to make only 57 saves - fifth-fewest amongst Conference competitors.