Sun Devil Soccer sends off seniors in style in 4-1 win over Utah
TEMPE, Ariz. – History was made at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium on Sunday as a trio of single-season records were broken in the Sun Devil soccer team's 4-1 win over Utah.
Nicole Douglas broke ASU Hall of Famer Stacey Tullock's 22-year-old school record for most goals in a season when she scored her 18th in the game's 74th minute. Combined with her assist in the fourth minute of play, the goal gave Douglas 42 points for the season, one more than Tullock's final number of 41 in 1999.
Also getting in on the record-breaking act was Eva van Deursen whose two assists in Sunday's win gave her 10 for the season propelling her into the program's top spot for most assists in a season (previous record of nine was set by Manya Makoski in 2002).
As a team, the Sun Devils (10-7-2, 2-6-2 Pac-12) have now posted a double-digit win total twice (2018 and 2021) in the last four seasons and that does not include the 9-6-2 record that was good enough to earn them a berth in last season's NCAA Tournament. Prior to 2018, ASU posted a double-digit win total twice in the previous 10 seasons.
Sunday's game was the final at home for 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. All 11 student-athletes were honored after the game.
"Really delighted," Winkworth offered on Sunday's game and recognition of the program's seniors. "Today was all about honoring the seniors. It is about 11 special women that have been incredible for this program. I'm really happy to get a positive result because it's for them. Also, a few of them managed to get on the score sheet. It's a nice, fitting way to finish the home slate this season. Like I've said (throughout conference play), I think we've deserved more positive results based on the way the team has played this season than we've got. So, it's nice to get one on Senior Day."
SINGLE-SEASON RECORDS BROKEN ON SUNDAY
- Points – Now with 42 points this season (18 goals, six assists), Nicole Douglas surpassed ASU Hall of Famer Stacey Tullock's previous record of 41 points (17 goals, seven assists in 1999).
- Goals – Douglas' goal on Sunday was her 18th of the season, passing Tullock's record of 17 goals in 1999.
- Assists – With two assists vs. Utah (Nos. 9 & 10 in 2021), Eva van Deursen passed Manya Makoski's record of nine assists set in 2002.
The Sun Devils got on the board less than four minutes into the game when Kearse-Thomas rebounded a shot that came off the foot of teammate Nicole Douglas and put the ball away for the early lead.
The Utes tied the game in the 11th minute but the Sun Devils reclaimed the advantage in the 17th minute when a 50-50 challenge resulted in a fortuitous bounce for the Sun Devils. Olivia Nguyen was the beneficiary of the challenge as the ball landed right in front of Nguyen, who scored her second goal in as many games and her seventh of the season to put ASU back in front 2-1.
The Sun Devils extended their lead to 3-1 win the 48th minute when van Deursen and Nguyen combined to set up Sullivan with a great look that resulted in the senior's second goal of the season.
With no change in the score as the two teams entered the 70th minute of play, the question on the minds of all Sun Devil fans in attendance or watching the game was if Douglas would be able to take over sole possession of the single-season goals record after she scored a pair on Thursday against Colorado to move her into a tie for the spot. As it turned out, not only was Douglas able to score the record-breaking goal in the 74th minute, but on the scoring play Douglas was able to help van Deursen break the assists mark after taking her van Deursen's offering and turning it into a goal.
"The goal was great because she had a lot of balance," Winkworth said of Douglas' goal. "She went and used both feet in the build up and just a great finish. She's been like that all season long. This season, she came in in much better condition than she had done previously, and I think she's probably going to come back in (knock-on-wood) top shape next season because she knows she'll get the rewards for it. The rewards are goals. There's no doubt in my mind she'll leave this program as the all-time ASU goal scorer, but she's also going to lead this program back to the NCAA tournament because she's got incredible players around her."
Winkworth was just as excited about van Deursen's accomplishment.
"Eva's been one of our best players all season long," Winkworth said. "She's been the consistent engine through the midfield, and I thought she was fantastic, once again. I'm delighted she managed to break (the record). It just shows the class and the quality of these young ladies."
Combined with its three goals in Thursday's win over Colorado, ASU how now scored multiple goals in back-to-back games four times this season.
The Sun Devils conclude the regular season on Friday (7 p.m. MST) when they travel to Tucson to take on Arizona. The game can be seen on Pac-12 Arizona.