Douglas ties single-season school record in Sun Devil Soccer’s win over Colorado
TEMPE, Ariz. – Senior Nicole Douglas scored a pair of goals – the ninth multi-goal outing of her Sun Devil career – Olivia Nguyen added her sixth goal of the season and freshman goalkeeper Julia Ortega made seven saves in the Sun Devil soccer team's 3-2 win over Colorado on Thursday night.
Douglas opened the scoring in fifth minute and then broke a 2-2 tie with her second goal of the game in the 77th minute. With two goals on Thursday, Douglas, who came into the game tied for the national lead in goals (15), tied Sun Devil Hall of Famer Stacey Tullock's 22-year-old program record for most goals in a single season (17). Douglas (now with 44 career goals) also moved into a tie for second place with Cali Farquharson (2012-15) for the school career goals record. Tullock's 50 career goals (1998-2001) represent the current program standard.
"I feel like I'm going to say a lot of what I've said in past weeks because I think we had another good performance, but I'm really proud of the girls today because I think we got [the result] we deserved, finally," head coach Graham Winkworth said. "I think we've deserved more points than we've gotten in the season with some of the performances we've put in. For them to finally get a result they deserve makes me so happy for them."
With the win, Sun Devils (9-7-2, 1-6-2 Pac-12) posted a win over a Colorado squad that started the week ranked No. 37 in the RPI. Amid a spate of injuries that piled up week after week throughout the season, ASU still nearly pulled off upsets earlier in Pac-12 play over USC (No. 20 RPI) – ASU led 1-0 before falling 2-1) – and UCLA (No. 23 RPI) – ASU led 3-1 before being edged 4-3 in overtime. ASU also came back from a two-goal deficit against Washington State and nearly won before settling for a 2-2 tie. Among the games where the statistics did not align with score was a 1-0 setback at Oregon earlier this month, a contest in which the Sun Devils had an 8-1 advantage in shots on goal.
"It's almost like when you're losing games you would rather get smacked than create better and stronger chances than your opponents only to lose," Winkworth explained. Tonight, I thought we deserved the result, but I also felt like we deserved some results throughout the season and you start to wonder are we going to get the results that we deserve?
Outside its play in the penalty areas – the goals it has conceded on the defensive end and not been able to consistently find the target on the offensive end," Winworth added, "I think we've been playing better soccer than we played in the spring, especially considering the injuries we've had."
After Colorado tied the game at 1-1 in the 15th minute, Nguyen helped the Sun Devils take a lead into the locker room after finding the back of the net on an opportunity set up by Eva van Deursen. With her eighth assist of the season, van Deursen moved into a three-way tie for second place in the school record books for most assists in a season and is now in a three-way tie fourth place in career assists (18).
Colorado (7-7-3, 2-4-3) would not go away as the Buffaloes once again knotted the score at 2-2 in the 62nd minute.
The two teams entered the final 15 minutes of regulation still tied. That would change a short time later after foul in the box set up Douglas for her second penalty kick of the game. Once again, the kick was true giving the Sun Devils a lead they would not relinquish.
"I pick a spot and I stick to it," Douglas said of the go-ahead goal. "I don't change my mind. This is for the win, this is what we've wanted since Pac-12 play started and we deserved the win today. What a team effort we gave today."
Added Nguyen on Thursday's win, "It's amazing. Finally, everything we've been working for and everything we tell ourselves before the game. We play to win, and we've been playing good soccer over the past few games and it's good to finally get the result."
After making six saves amid heavy rain and strong winds at Cal on Sunday, Ortega set a season high for the second straight week with seven saves against Colorado.
Up next for the Sun Devils is a Sunday Senior Day contest vs. Utah at 1 pm at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. The program will honor senior student-athletes Lara Barbieri, Isabel Dehakiz, Jessica Hale, Jayda Hylton-Pelaia, Vildan Kardesler, Julia Koharko, Olivia Kearse-Thomas, Hikaru Minami, Nicole Soto, Cori Sullivan and Anna White following the game.
Tickets for Sunday's game can be purchased by clicking on this link.