ASU soccer outlasts USC in triple overtime
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Freshman Tommi Goodman scored her first career goal less than a minute into the second overtime and Cali Farquharson had the first hat trick for an Arizona State freshman since 2000 as the ASU women’s soccer team defeated USC 5-4 on Friday to capture its first Pac-12 win of the season.
For the Sun Devils (5-5-1, 1-1 Pac-12), the win was their fourth in five games, with the only loss during that stretch coming to the current No. 2 team in the nation, Stanford.
“There were some really good things about this game and there were some not so good things,” ASU head coach Kevin Boyd said. “We played really well at times. Our offense looked absolutely terrific and was going at them. We scored five goals against a very good team, which we haven’t done that often. There are a lot of positives, and there are also some things we need to continue to address.”
ASU took 35 of the game’s 49 shots and had also had advantages in shots on goal (17-7) and corner kicks (9-4). Proving to be just as important was the Sun Devils’ ability to play smart on the defensive end, as they tied their season low with only four fouls while USC was whistled for nine. That took on even greater significance late in regulation and in the extra sessions after a pair of USC players -- Autumn Altamirano (second yellow card of the game in the 90th minute) and Samantha Johnson (red card in the 93rd minute) -- were ejected, leaving USC down a pair of players on the field.
After ASU fell behind 1-0 in the 22nd minute, Farquharson would get the Sun Devils even and then push them ahead before the half with goals in the 27th minute and the 44th minute. Kiara Williams and Courtney Tinnin teamed up to set up Farquharson’s first goal, while Goodman assisted on the second.
The Sun Devils would extend their lead to 3-1 in the 60th minute when Tinnin scored from long distance to record her first goal of the season.
“I think she is getting better and better,” Boyd said of Tinnin. “I was thrilled that she got her goal -- it was a spectacular goal. She is a really good player, and she needs to score a goal (to remind herself) that she can score goals.”
Just as the Sun Devils battled back in last year’s tilt to force overtime in Los Angeles (an eventual 2-1 USC win), USC (4-5-1, 1-1 Pac-12) would not go down without a fight, as sophomore Alex Quincey scored goals in the 70th minute and the 83rd minute to knot the score at 3-3.
The dramatics were only beginning, as the Sun Devils would respond less than four minutes later when senior Taylor McCarter found Farquharson breaking open toward the goal. Farquharson would calmly finish things from there, scoring her school-record-tying third goal of the game to put ASU up 4-3.
With the goal, Farquharson became the first ASU player to score three goals in a game since Karin Volpe accomplished the feat against Nebraska in 2010. She also became the first freshman to do so since Patrice Feulner in 2000.
“What I said to Cali is the same thing I’ve been saying to her all year,” Boyd explained. “She’s special. She needs a mindset where she should believe that she is going to score every game. It is something she is capable of, and she has that ability. What a great day for her to get her hat trick and just come alive like she did.”
ASU’s lead would last just a little more than two minutes, as USC tied the score in the 89th minute on a goal by Altamirano to force overtime.
“I thought we had it wrapped up when we went up 4-3, and we should have,” Boyd said. “We need to do a better job of closing out games. It’s been something that’s we’ve been addressing and identifying, but sometimes you have to learn going through it and that’s where we are right now..”
Less than a minute after tying the score, Altamirano picked up her second yellow card of the contest, resulting in a red card and her ejection from the game. Johnson was then forced to take a seat less than three minutes into the first overtime, giving ASU a two-player advantage on the field.
The Sun Devils pressed the attack, taking all six shots in the first overtime, but they were unable to find the back of the net.
Given the situation, though, it seemed only a matter of time before ASU broke through, and less than a minute into the second overtime, Farquharson sent a shot through that was denied by USC goalkeeper Caroline Stanley, and Goodman was in perfect position for the rebound, which she drilled home for the win.
“I said going into the second overtime, 'Don’t make this more difficult than it is. Get it wide, get it down the field and things will happen,’” Boyd said of ASU’s strategy.
For Goodman, it was the first goal of her career, and it brought a sudden end to a chaotic game that saw the Sun Devils persevere through some adversity to get their record back to .500.
“This team is good,” Boyd said. “We have moments when we are very good. When we learn to have a professional attitude about closing out games and toughening up our defense, we are going to be a really hard team to play against.”
Among the players Boyd credited with Friday’s win was senior forward Nicki Stone, who had five shots and was constantly a disruptive presence around the USC goal.
“Nicki has had that all year,” Boyd said. “This is by far Nicki’s best game she’s played. She was really good. She was causing a lot of problems (for USC). That is the Nicki we have been expecting to have every game, and I’ll be thrilled if she keeps that going.”