Sun Devil Soccer wraps up non-conference play with home games against Grambling State and Toledo

THE GAME: Sun Devil Soccer (2-0-2) vs. Grambling State (3-5)
WHEN: Wednesday at 7 p.m. MST
WHERE: Sun Devil Football Stadium • Tempe, Arizona.
DIRECT: ASU Live Stream
LIVE STATS: Click here
BUY TICKETS: Click here

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The Sun Devil football team closes out non-conference play with two home games against Grambling State (Wednesday at 7 p.m.) and Toledo (Sunday at 7 p.m.). Wednesday’s game against Grambling State was added to the ASU schedule on September 1. The game replaced the Hawaii game which was canceled on August 18 due to weather conditions.

The Sun Devils (2-0-2) will be back for the first time in 13 days after their games against Georgia Southern (September 4) and current No. 9/undefeated Pepperdine (September 8) were called off due of Covid-19 Protocols.

The fact that the Sun Devils are undefeated is a testament to the team’s focus despite the hurdles they have overcome just to play the games they have so far.

Both of ASU’s opening weekend contests were affected by weather conditions. ASU’s opener, a 1-1 draw against 2021 NCAA Tournament entrant South Dakota State, began on the night of August 18 (played 48 minutes before the game was stopped by lightning) and ended on the morning of August 19. Keri Matthews’ The first career goal tied the game at 1-1 on Friday after SDSU took the lead in Thursday night’s session.

ASU’s next scheduled contest against Hawai’i (August 21) hasn’t even started because the contest was delayed by lightning just as the teams were beginning to warm up. The game was eventually cancelled.

The Sun Devils were able to start and complete their first road contest, a 2-1 victory at Boise State (Aug. 25), without any unusual stops. However, weather issues came into play again – a lightning 50-minute delay before the start of the second half – in the ensuing game for ASU, a 1-1 draw at Denver (August 28 ).

Prior to 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 were trailed in 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 failing to find 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 targeting Tullock’s school goals record (125 points) that she needs six more points to pass.

The Sun Devils enter this weekend with a 25-7-2 regular season record, out of conference play since 2018.

LAST MATCH RATINGS

• With two goals against UAB, Nicole Douglas has now scored multiple goals in a game 11 times in his career, including twice this season. She equaled the school record in one game (three goals) three times.
• Douglas has scored 24 goals in ASU’s last 24 games since last season. She started the week 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 school record in a single game with three assists against UAB. She bound her teammate Nicole Douglas (vs Central Arkansas on August 25, 2019) and Lucy Lara (vs Pepperdine on September 11, 2015).
• First-year student Enasia Colon scored his first goal of the season. Second year Keri Matthews scored for the second time in his career, while veteran midfielders Alexia Delgado and Eva van Deursen both posted their first goals of the season.
• First-year goaltender Pauline Nelles was unavailable in the first week as she was still competing with the German national team at the U20 World Cup in Costa Rica. She made her first college start at Boise State, a difficult task for any player making her first start. His four saves came on the second team as Boise State desperately sought the equalizer after the Broncos halved ASU’s lead in the 74th minute. She also had one save in ASU’s 1-1 draw at Denver (August 28) and followed that up with a season-high five saves against UAB (September 1).

HUNTING FOR HISTORY

All eyes are on the 2021 NCAA scoring leader Nicole Douglas, who earned third-team All-America honors last season 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, Douglas in 2021 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 September 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 targeting Tullock’s school goals record (125 points), which she needs six more points to overtake.

Douglas, who started all 75 games she played during her ASU career, scored a goal or assist in all but five games last season and had a streak in which she scored at least one goal in seven consecutive games. She scored multiple goals in a game 11 times in her career and tied the school single-game record for goals (3) three times and the single-game record for assists (3) once.

On August 18, it was announced that 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 player national of the year.

HUNTING FOR HISTORY PART II

The fifth-year midfielder is also within reach of breaking a career high on the program. Eva van Deursen (22 career assists / tied for second with Manya Makoski 2002-05), who needs four assists to become ASU’s all-time leader. ASU Hall of Famer Stacey Tullock (1st place / 25 assists / 1998-2001) holds the school record.

Last season, van Deursen, who also scored three goals, set the school’s single-season assist record with 10. At the end of the season, van Deursen led the Pac-12 and was No. 19 nationwide in assists per game (0.56). She matched her career high in a single game in assists (two) twice in ASU’s wins at UAB (August 29) and over Utah (October 31).

ABOUT THE SCHEDULE

ASU’s 2022 schedule features five competitions 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 an opportunity to face a Top 10 side in their match against unbeaten No. 10 and Pepperdine (September 8) was canceled due to Covid-19 protocols.

ASU’s first two road opponents — Boise State (W, 2-1) and Denver (T, 1-1) — narrowly missed out on an automatic NCAA Tournament berth last season after falling in the game titles from their respective conference tournaments. Ditto, for Wednesday’s enemy, Grambling State.

HOW IS IT FOR THE EXPERIENCE?

ASU returns quartet of fifth-year players as forwards Nicole Douglas (75 starts/75 games) and Olivia Nguyen (40 starts/65 games, including 39 starts in 41 games since the start of his junior season) and midfielders Alexia Delgado (61 starts/68 games) and Eva van Deursen (70 starts/73 games). The four players combined for 281 games played, including 246 starts.

The Sun Devils are also returning two other players with over 50 games of starting experience: defender Lieske Carleer (56 starts/55 career games) and defender/midfielder Callie Darst (59 starts in 61 career games).

MORE OPEN SOCCER IN REGULAR SEASON

Last April, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Committee approved changes to overtime rules in men’s and women’s soccer for the regular season and playoffs, effective for the 2022 season.

For the regular season, overtime has been eliminated, which means that 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 win component has been eliminated and teams will instead play two 10-minute overtime periods. In addition, when a substitution is made by the winning team in the last five minutes of the second extra time, the game clock stops.

If the match remains tied, a penalty shootout will take place to determine the winner.

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