Sun Devil Soccer closes non-conference play vs. Toledo on Sunday
THE GAME: Sun Devil Soccer (3-0-2) vs. Toledo (1-3-2)
WHEN: Sunday at 7 p.m. MST
WHERE: Sun Devil Soccer Stadium • Tempe, Ariz.
LIVE STREAM: Pac-12 Insider
LIVE STATS: Click here
PURCHASE TICKETS: Click here
The Sun Devil soccer team (3-0-2) closes out non-conference play on Sunday (7 pm MST) when it hosts Toledo (1-3-2) at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in the first meeting between the two schools. After not playing a game for 13 days due to Covid-19 protocols, the Sun Devils remained unbeaten with a 5-0 win over Grambling State on Wednesday.
The fact the Sun Devils are unbeaten is a testament to the team's focus despite the obstacles it has overcome 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).
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 then went 13 days without playing a game after their contests vs. Georgia Southern (Sept. 4) and current No. 9/unbeaten Pepperdine (Sept. 8) were canceled (Covid-19 protocols).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
• ASU is 27-7-2 in regular season, non-conference games since 2018, including a 13-1-2 mark over the last two seasons.
• ASU comes into Sunday's game third in the nation in assists per game (3.4), ninth in points per game (9.4) and 13th in scoring offense (3.0 goals per game).
• The Sun Devils have been led by returning All-American Nicole Douglas. Now the program's all-time career leader in goals (54), points (126) and game-winning goals (17), Douglas enters Sunday's game leading the nation in goals per game (1.6) and points per game (3.4), is third in total goals (8), fourth in total points (17) and fifth in game-winning goals (3).
• After not finding the back of the net in ASU's season opener vs. South Dakota State (Aug. 18), Douglas has since scored all eight of her goals in ASU's last four games. In ASU's 5-0 win over Toledo (Sept. 14), Douglas tied the school's single-game school record in goals (3) for the fourth time in her career. She has now scored multiple goals in a game 12 times and has accounted for 27 goals in ASU's last 25 games.
• ASU has scored 11 goals in its last two games (6-2 vs. UAB and 5-0 vs. Grambling State). Alexia Delgado has scored in each of ASU's last two games. Degado (2) and Keri Matthews (2) have also scored multiple goals this season.
• Defender Lucy Johnson tied the single-game school record with three assists vs. UAB (Sept. 1) and is currently No. 1 in the nation in assists per game (1.25). Teammate Eva van Deursen is 35th in assists per game (0.60).
• 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. Nelles and Birta Gudlaugsdottir combined for ASU's first shutout vs. Grambling State (Sept. 14).