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Sun Devil Soccer and Utah play to a scoreless tie

Oct 14, 2022

TEMPE, Ariz. – The Sun Devil soccer team and Utah both battled hard before playing to a scoreless tie before a crowd of 1,349 at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium on Friday night. 

The Sun Devils (6-3-3, 2-3-1 Pac-12) nearly took the lead in the 25th minute, Utah goalkeeper Kasey Wardle made an airborne effort to get a hand on a shot launched by Nicole Douglas. 

ASU had another opportunity in the 39th minute when Jazmine Wilkinson had a Sun Devil free kick bounce out to her where she attempted a crossing shot to the far post but was wide. 

The Sun Devils were outshot 13-4 in the second half but kept the Utes off the board with phenomenal back-line play. The 61st and 71st minute saw heroic efforts from ASU defenders to keep the match scoreless. On both occasions, the last remaining Sun Devil defenders were tasked with making timely slides to shake the ball away from the attacker heading for a one-on-one with their goalkeeper. Freshman goalkeeper Pauline Nelles made a career-high nine saves to secure her second career clean sheet. 

Playing a big role in helping Nelles keep Utah off the scoreboard were senior Lieske Carleer, sophomore Lauren Kirberg and a trio of freshmen: Andrea KraetzerMeighan Farrell and Ava Wright.

"I thought our back four did a great job. You have to remember we have a freshman in goal, a freshman right back, freshman left back, and freshman center back," ASU head coach Graham Winkworth said. "We are very young defensively, and they kept a clean sheet."  

Utah (6-5-3, 2-3-1) played the last 27-plus minutes of the game with only 10 players on the field after Ryann Cull was issued a red card in the 63rd minute. Playing with the advantage, numbers-wise, the Sun Devils saw less of the ball in dangerous areas than the opening 45-minutes. 

"I think we lacked composure to move the ball around in the second half and weren't good enough in possession," Winkworth stated. "We were good enough defensively, just not good enough in possession." 

Nicole Douglas led the Sun Devils with six shots, including a pair of shots on frame.  

Sophomore forward Caetlyn Johannes came off the bench to play nine minutes in her 2022 Sun Devil debut. 

Next up for the Sun Devils is a trip to the Pacific Northwest, where they will play at Washington State on Thursday and at Washington on Sunday.  

Next weekend's contests will complete a stretch in which the Sun Devils will have played four of five games on the road.