Kevin Boyd‘s ‘scoring by committee’ game plan appears to be working well so far for the Arizona State women’s soccer team. Five different players have contributed to the seven goals scored in the first three games.
This isn’t a novel approach to offense, but for Boyd it was born out of necessity.
The Sun Devils graduated nine seniors last season, including their go-to offensive weapon, Cali Farquharson. The athletic forward from Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix wrapped up her ASU career as No. 2 in program history in both career goals (44) and career points (102). She and defender McKenzie Berryhill were both taken in this year’s NWSL draft.
They also lost goal keeper Chandler Morris to graduation. She posted 25 saves over her career, making her the all-time program leader in that category.
So without the star power from years past, the 10th-year head coach has to count on contributions from those who have been waiting in the wings for their chance to step up, as well as a talented incoming recruiting class.
So far, that’s just what is happening.
The youngsters were the first to step up. Christina Edwards, a freshman from Oregon, and sophomore Adriana Orozco scored the first two goals of the season in a 2-1 win against Boston University in the opener. Orozco, last year’s Newcomer of the Year who played in eight games, is a local product from Verrado High School in Buckeye.
Edwards scored first and three minutes later Orozco found the net and gave ASU a 2-0 lead going into the half. The win lifted Boyd’s season-opener record to 8-1-1 as the Devils outshot BU, 13-10, and enjoyed an 8-1 advantage on corner kicks.
In the second game, the Devils took No. 25-ranked Boston College to two overtime periods before the contest ended in a 1-1 tie. This time, it was a veteran taking care of the scoring for ASU, as senior Jazmarie Mader notched her fifth career goal in the 37th minute of the game. The 5’7″ forward is another in-state recruit, from Basha High School in Chandler.
The defense was impressive in both road games, holding off Boston University until a goal in the 56th minute of the opening game and keeping Boston College out of the net until the 61st minute.
Redshirt junior Megan Delaney stepped in at keeper after backing up Morris last season, recorded 15 saves over the first two games, and then posted her first career shutout in the third game, a 4-0 romp over Loyola Chicago.
In keeping with the ‘committee’ approach, all four goals in the Loyola game, played in Tempe, were netted by different players as the Sun Devils’ offense unloaded a barrage of 29 shots.
Once again, ASU took an early lead as redshirt senior midfielder Lucy Lara scored in the eighth minute, followed by a second goal from Orozco in the 30th minute to take a 2-0 lead into halftime. Junior forward Jessica Raybe and Mader added two more scores in the second half to wrap up the win and leave the Sun Devils undefeated thus far.
On Saturday, just 14 hours after the game with Loyola, the Devils entertained Beijing Normal University in an exhibition game that enabled Boyd to tune up for this weekend’s games when they will host the annual Sun Devil Desert Classic. He started just two regulars in that game and got plenty of extra time for others.
Beijing won the exhibition game, 1-0, on a score in the 72nd minute. But ASU enjoyed a big edge in shots (19-6), shots on goal (11-5), and corner kicks (5-0).
This re-designed ASU offense has another advantage to it, says Boyd. In a pre-season article in the campus newspaper, The State Press, Boyd said: “In the past, Cali (Farquharson) was a massive factor for everybody (opponents) and now we are going to survive without her.
“Teams aren’t sure what we are going to be bringing.”
Now they’re starting to see what this team is bringing…they just don’t know where it’s coming from.
(Photo: ASU Athletics)