Sun Devil Soccer defeats Toledo 5-0 to finish non-conference play unbeaten
TEMPE – In the last match before conference play and with the absence of head coach Graham Winkworth due to illness, Sun Devil Soccer followed up Wednesday night's 5-0 win over Grambling State with another 5-0 win, this one coming against Toledo on Sunday night.
For the fifth straight game, Nicole Douglas found the back of the net with her ninth goal of the season. ASU flooded Toledo's defense with 21 of its 36 shots on target.
Assistant coaches Jo Chubb and Ross Alexander took over the reins for the closing non-conference match.
"It was really important for us in these last two games to build on our performance, focus on our performance, in the hope that the result will come," Chubb said.
Freshman Ava Wright opened the scoring with a gorgeous header for her first career goal on a corner kick off the foot of Keri Matthews, who notched the first assist of her career.
Freshman Enasia Colon continued her quality play as she assisted on two goals for the Sun Devils. Colon has a four-game streak accounting for at least one point with one goal and four assists in that stretch.
BREAK THE PATTERN
Just four days prior to Sunday night's game, Winkworth delivered his praise for the Sun Devils' defending of set pieces, but marked their inability to score on corner kicks as an area subject to change. Eleven minutes into the game, Wright responded to the call as she scored on the aforementioned header. ASU's defense warded off all four of Toledo's corner kicks to keep a spotless set piece defensive record.
It only took 18 seconds for the Sun Devils to get a shot on goal as they controlled the majority of the possession battle throughout the game. ASU was able to get 10 out of 18 shots on goal in the first half, with two goals being scored in the first half by Wright and forward Olivia Nguyen, who scored her first goal of the season on a low strike, after Kennedy Mayo's persistence won the ball back. Douglas was active in the second half, as she managed nine shots while scoring once, adding to her prestigious accolades.
Following a 33-minute scoring drought, ASU tacked on three extra goals in just over 13 minutes. Douglas kicked off the stretch that ultimately put the game out of reach. In the 79th minute, Mayo was finally rewarded with her hard work and unrecorded contributions, by notching her first goal of the season.
Much was made of Mayo's performance, with CoChubb acknowledging "she delivered tonight," and "was a game changer."
Midfield commander Eva van Deursen capped off the 91 seconds later for a fifth Sun Devil goal. Her sailing shot that left the Rockets in their tracks checked her off as the fifth different ASU goal-scorer of the night.
Sunday's 5-0 shutout marked the first time ASU has gotten back-to-back clean sheets since Feb. 26 and Feb. 14, 2021 when Sun Devil Soccer held Grand Canyon and USC scoreless. Freshman Pauline Nelles hasn't allowed a goal in the last 153 minutes of play that she's been and was credited with four wins to start her Sun Devil career before Pac-12 play begins.
10-0 IN 180 MINUTES
In the last two games, there has been an entourage of goal scoring from ASU with seven different players accounting for 10 goals. It marks the most goals ASU has managed in consecutive games since the first two contests of the 2019 season when it amassed 14 goals in back-to-back 7-1 wins over Central Arkansas (Aug. 25) and Tennessee Tech (Aug. 29).
NOT TOO SHABBY
With the win, the Sun Devils are now 28-7-2 in regular season, non-conference games going back to 2018, including a 14-1-2 mark the last two seasons.
The Sun Devils commence Pac-12 play on Friday when they play at Colorado (4 pm MDT/3 pm MST). The game can be seen on Colorado's live stream.