Sun Devil Soccer closes non-conference play with home games vs. Grambling State & Toledo
THE GAME: Sun Devil Soccer (2-0-2) vs. Grambling State (3-5)
WHEN: Wednesday at 7 p.m. MST
WHERE: Sun Devil Soccer Stadium • Tempe, Ariz.
LIVE STREAM: ASU Live Stream
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PURCHASE TICKETS: Click here
The Sun Devil soccer team closes out non-conference play with two home contests vs. Grambling State (Wed. at 7 p.m.) and vs. Toledo (Sun. at 7 p.m.). Wednesday's contest vs. Grambling State was added to ASU's schedule on Sept. 1. The game replaced the Hawaii game that was canceled on Aug. 18 due to weather.
The Sun Devils (2-0-2) will be returning action for the first time in 13 days after their contests vs. Georgia Southern (Sept. 4) and current No. 9/unbeaten Pepperdine (Sept. 8) were canceled due to Covid-19 protocols.
The fact the Sun Devils are unbeaten is a testament to the team's focus despite the obstacles it has overcome just to play the games it has thus far.
Both of ASU's opening weekend contests were affected by weather. ASU's opening game, 1-1 tie vs. 2021 NCAA Tournament participant South Dakota State, started on the night of Aug. 18 (played 48 minutes before game was halted by lightning) and finished on the morning of Aug. 19. Keri Matthews' first career goal tied the game at 1-1 on Friday after SDSU took the lead during Thursday's evening session.
ASU's next scheduled contest vs. Hawai'i (Aug. 21) did not even start as the contest was delayed by lightning just as the teams were getting to warm up. The game was eventually canceled.
The Sun Devils were able to start and finish their first road contest, a 2-1 win at Boise State (Aug. 25), without any unusual stoppages. However, weather issues once again came into play – a 50-minute lightning delay before the start of the second half – in ASU's ensuing contest, a 1-1 tie at Denver (Aug. 28).
Before its current hiatus, ASU returned home and scored its most goals since the 2021 season opener in a 6-2 win over UAB (Sept. 1).
The Sun Devils have been led by returning All-American Nicole Douglas, who became ASU's all-time leader in career goals after scoring a pair in the win over UAB. Douglas tied and passed Sun Devil Hall of Famer Stacey Tullock (50 goals/1998-2001) and now has 51 career goals. After not finding the back of the net in the season opener, Douglas has exploded for five goals in ASU's last three games. Douglas (120 career points/51 goals and 18 assists), who also tied Tullock's school record for career game-winning goals (16) in the win over UAB, is now setting her sights on Tullock's school scoring record (125 points) which she needs six more points to surpass.
The Sun Devils enter this weekend with a record of 25-7-2 in regular season, non-conference games since 2018.
NOTES FROM LAST GAME
• With two goals vs. UAB, Nicole Douglas has now scored multiple goals in a game 11 times in her career, including twice this season She has tied the single-game school record (three goals) on three occasions.
• Douglas has scored 24 goals in ASU's last 24 games going back to last season. She started the week ranked tied for third in the nation in goals per game (1.25) and second in points per game (2.75).
• Defender Lucy Johnson tied the single-game school record with three assists vs. UAB. She tied teammate Nicole Douglas (vs. Central Arkansas on Aug. 25, 2019) and Lucy Lara (vs. Pepperdine on Sept. 11, 2015).
• Freshman Enasia Colon scored her first goal of the season. Sophomore Keri Matthews scored for the second time in her career, while veteran midifielders Alexia Delgado and Eva van Deursen both post their first goals of the season.
• Freshman goalkeeper Pauline Nelles was not available week one as she was still competing with the German National Team at the U20 World Cup in Costa Rica. She made her first collegiate start at Boise State, a difficult assignment for any player making their first start. All four of her saves came in the second staff as Boise State was desperately searching for the equalizer after the Broncos cut ASU's lead in half in the 74th minute. She also had a save in ASU's 1-1 tie at Denver (Aug. 28) and followed that with a season-high five saves vs. UAB (Sept. 1).
All eyes are focused 2021 NCAA scoring leader Nicole Douglas, who earned Third-Team All-America honors last season and was one 13 players named to the All-Pac-12 First Team. The first Sun Devil to earn All-America honors since 2002, in 2021 Douglas set the single-season school records for goals (19 - No. 1 in the nation) and points (45). She also led the nation in goals per game (0.95) and points per game (2.25).
On Sept. 1, 2022, Douglas became ASU's all-time leader in career goals after finding the back of the net twice in ASU's 6-2 win over UAB. Douglas tied and passed Sun Devil Hall of Famer Stacey Tullock (50 goals/1998-2001) and now has 51 career goals. Douglas (120 career points/51 goals and 18 assists), who also tied Tullock's school record for career game-winning goals (16) in the win over UAB, is now setting her sights on Tullock's school scoring record (125 points), which she needs six more points to surpass.
Douglas, who has started all 75 games she has played in her ASU career, accounted for a goal or assist in all but five games last season and had a stretch in which she scored at least one goal in seven straight games. She has scored multiple goals in a game 11x in her career and has tied the single-game school record for goals (3) on three occasions and the single-game record for assists (3) once.
On Aug. 18, it was announced Douglas was one of 60 players on the 2022 Hermann Trophy Watch List. Presented annually by the Missouri Athletic Club, the Hermann Trophy is the nation's highest individual honor recognizing the National Player of the Year.
CHASING HISTORY PART II
Also within reach of breaking a program career record is fifth-year midfielder Eva van Deursen (22 career assists/tied for second place with Manya Makoski 2002-05), who needs four assists to become ASU's all-time leader. ASU Hall of Famer Stacey Tullock (first place/25 assists/1998-2001) holds the school record.
Last season, van Deursen, who also scored three goals, set the school's single-season assists record with 10. At season's end, van Deursen led the Pac-12 and was No. 19 in the nation in assists per game (0.56). She tied her single-game career high in assists (two) twice in ASU's wins at UAB (Aug. 29) and vs. Utah (Oct. 31).
ABOUT THE SCHEDULE
Included on ASU's 2022 schedule are five contests against teams that qualified for last season's NCAA Tournament: South Dakota State (T, 1-1), Stanford, UCLA, USC, and Washington State. The Sun Devils missed out on an opportunity to face a Top 10 team when their game vs. then-No. 10 and unbeaten Pepperdine (Sept. 8) was canceled due to Covid-19 protocols.
ASU's first two road opponents – Boise State (W, 2-1) and Denver (T, 1-1) – just missed out on an automatic NCAA Tournament berth last season after falling in the championship game of their respective conference tournaments. Ditto, for Wednesday's foe, Grambling State.
HOW'S THIS FOR EXPERIENCE?
ASU returns a quartet of fifth-year players in the form of forwards Nicole Douglas (75 starts/75 games) and Olivia Nguyen (40 starts/65 games, including 39 starts in 41 games since start of her junior season) and midfielders Alexia Delgado (61 starts/68 games) and Eva van Deursen (70 starts/73 games). The four players have combined for 281 games played, including 246 starts.
The Sun Devils also return two other players with more than 50 games of starting experience: defender Lieske Carleer (56 starts/55 career games) and defender/midfielder Callie Darst (59 starts in 61 career games).
NO MORE FREE SOCCER IN THE REGULAR SEASON
This past April, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved changes to overtime rules in men's and women's soccer for both the regular season and the postseason, effective for the 2022 season.
For the regular season, overtime has been eliminated, meaning if a game is tied after the regulation 90 minutes, it will end in a tie. Previously, teams played two 10-minute overtime periods in a sudden-victory (golden goal) format, and if neither team scored, the game ended in a tie.
In conference tournaments and NCAA postseason games, the sudden-victory component has been eliminated, and teams will play two 10-minute overtime periods instead. Also, when a substitution is made by the winning team in the last five minutes of the second overtime, the game clock will stop.
If the game remains tied, a penalty-kick shootout will be held to determine the winner.