Skip to main content

Sun Devil Soccer returns home to host California and Stanford

Sep 28, 2022

THE GAME: Sun Devil Soccer (5-0-2, 1-0 Pac-12) vs. California (5-2-3, 0-1 Pac-12)
WHEN: Thursday at 7 p.m. MST
WHERE: Sun Devil Soccer Stadium • Tempe, Ariz.
WATCH: ASU Live Stream
LIVE STATS: Click here

Coming off a down-to-the-wire 3-2 win in last Friday's Pac-12 opener at Colorado, the Sun Devil soccer team (5-0-2, 1-0 Pac-12) returns home to take on Bay Area foes California (Thursday at 7 p.m. MST) and Stanford (Sunday at 1 p.m.). The Bears (5-2-3, 0-1) and the Cardinal (7-2-1, 0-1) both came up short in their respective conference openers in Los Angeles: Cal lost at top-ranked UCLA 4-2 and Stanford at current No. 20 USC, 2-1.
• ASU comes into Thursday's game second in the nation in assists per game (3.57), is fourth in points per game (10.14), sixth in scoring offense (3.29 goals per game) and 10th in shots on goal per game (9.57).
• ASU has been led by returning All-American Nicole Douglas. Now the program's all-time career leader in goals (55), points (129) and game-winning goals (17), Douglas enters Thursday's game second nation in goals per game (1.29), third in points per game (2,86) and SOG per game (3.17), is sixth in total goals (9), eighth in total points (20) and 11th 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 nine of her goals in ASU's last six games. In ASU's 5-0 win over Toledo (Sept. 14), Douglas, who was named the Pac-12's offensive player of the week on Sept. 19, tied the school's single-game school record for goals (3) for the fourth time in her career. She has now scored multiple goals in a game 12 times and has accounted for 28 goals in ASU's last 26 games.
• ASU has scored 19 goals in its last four games (six vs. UAB, five vs. Grambling State and Toledo three at Colorado). It has accumulated more than three times as many shots (103-27), SOG (53-16) and corner kicks (28-9) in that span. What's more, nine different Sun Devils have scored in that stretch with three players accounting for multiple goals Douglas (6), Eva van Deursen (4) and Alexia Delgado (3). In last week's win at Colorado, it was ASU's dynamic duo in the midfield comprised of super seniors van Deursen (two goals including the game-winner with three seconds remaining in) and Alexia Delgado (one goal), who were responsible for all three goals. 
• Through seven games, van Deursen has already set a new single-season career-high for goals (4) and Delgado has tied her career-best mark (3).
• Although her five-game streak of scoring at least one goal ended last Friday, Douglas still made her presence felt, setting up Delgado's goal.
• Both Lucy Johnson (vs. UAB) and Kennedy Mayo (vs. Toledo) have tied the single-game school record for assists (3). Freshman teammate Enasia Colon is 23rd in the nation in assists per game (0.57).
The fact the Sun Devils are unbeaten through seven games is a testament to the team's focus and leadership.   
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 and finished on the morning of Aug. 19. Keri Matthews' first career goal tied the game at 1-1 on Aug. 19 after SDSU took the lead the previous night. ASU's next scheduled contest vs. Hawai'i (Aug. 21) did not even start (lightning). The game was eventually canceled. 
ASU was able to start and finish its 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 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 home contests vs. Georgia Southern (Sept. 4) & Pepperdine (Sept. 8) were canceled (Covid-19 protocols).
ASU returned from the extended break with a pair of 5-0 wins over Grambling State (Sept. 14) and vs. Toledo (Sept. 18) before opening Pac-12 play with last week's 3-2 win at Colorado.
The tremendous job ASU has done of playing through adversity should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the program in recent years. During the Covid season of 2020 (played in the spring of 2021), ASU made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014 and was just short of making its first Sweet 16 after falling to Duke in 2OT. Last season, ASU still managed to post a double-digit win total (10) despite having to play 22 different players in the starting lineup due to an unlucky spate of injuries. Including this season's 4-0-2 record, ASU now 28-7-2 in regular season, non-conference games since 2018, including a 14-1-2 the last two seasons.
At the outset of conference play, ASU had the second-highest RPI among Pac-12 teams (No. 31). In the most recent RPI (Sept. 25), ASU moved up to No. 17 following its win over Colorado. Every Pac-12 team is currently among the Top 100 with nine teams among the Top 60: UCLA (No. 1), ASU (No. 17), Washington State (No. 25), Utah (No. 33), USC (No. 39), Oregon (No. 40), Cal (No. 49), Stanford (No. 51) and Washington (58).
All eyes have been focused 2021 NCAA scoring leader Nicole Douglas, who earned Third-Team All-America honors in 2021 and was one of 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 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 scoring twice in ASU's 6-2 win over UAB. Douglas tied and then and passed Sun Devil Hall of Famer Stacey Tullock (50 goals/1998-2001) vs. UAB. On Sept. 14 vs. Grambling State, Douglas became ASU's new career leader in points (126/54 goals and 18 assists) and game-winning goals (17), passing Tullock in both categories Grambling State (Sept. 14).
Douglas, who has started all 78 games in her 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 12x in her career and has tied the single-game school record for goals (3) on four occasions – most recently in ASU's 5-0 win over Grambling State (Sept. 14) – 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.
Also within reach of breaking a program career record is fifth-year midfielder Eva van Deursen (23 career assists/second place), who needs three assists to become ASU's all-time leader. Tullock (first place/25 assists/1998-2001) holds the school record. Van Deursen has already accounted for four goals and three assists this season.
In 2021, van Deursen set the school's single-season assists record with 10 in addition to scoring three goals. 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).
Van Deursen was named to the College Soccer News Women's National Team of the Week for the week ending Sept. 25. Van deursen was recognized after scoring a single-game, career-high two goals, including the game-winner with three seconds remaining in ASU's 3-2 win in its Pac-12 opener at Colorado (Sept. 23).