Arizona State Sun Devils

No. 24 Soccer Upsets No. 11 USC, 1-0

Photo - Sun Devils Athletics

(Tempe, AZ)  A resolute defensive effort punctuated by goalkeeper Pauline Nelles’ single-season school record ninth shutout of the season combined with Hannah Lapeire’s second goal in as many games, propelled the No. 24 Sun Devil soccer team to a 1-0 upset of No. 11 USC on Thursday night.

With the win, the Sun Devils (10-2-4, 5-1-1 Pac-12) not only handed USC (9-3-1, 5-1-1) its first conference loss of the season, but also moved them into a tie for third place with the Trojans in the Pac-12 standings.

“I am so incredibly proud of the team tonight,” ASU head coach Graham Winkworth said. “USC is one of the most talented and well coached teams in the nation. We really limited the opportunities for our opponent in the match and particularly the first half.

“I was extremely proud of the defensive effort we showed tonight. I think we can still be better when in possession but that is also down the limited space our opponents gave us.”

The intensity of the contest was befitting of a playoff game. The first half was a stalemate as each team registered two shots with ASU claiming the only shot on goal coming courtesy of Enasia Colon.

In the second half, the Sun Devils more than proved their mettle on the defensive end as the Trojans reeled off 11 shots in addition to attempting nine of their 14 corner kicks in the game.

Time and again, the Sun Devils would turn USC back, often keeping the Trojans from getting off a quality shot attempt.

On the other end of the field, ASU made the most of its lone shot on goal of the second half in the 72nd minute. Lapeire, who scored the first goal of her career in last Friday’s win at Oregon, was able to beat USC goalkeeper Hannah Dickinson to the ball on a cross by Keri Matthews, and score what turned out to be the game-winning goal.

Emilie Simpson started the scoring sequence by passing to Matthews who made an excellent read in notching her third assist in two games after accounting for a single-game, career-high two assists in the win over Oregon.

Nelles, who made two saves in the game, came up with her biggest of the contest in the 80th minute when she got a hand on a shot by USC’s Simone Jackson that was just enough to tip the ball over the goal.

Nelles, Lapeire, Lieske Carleer, Allison Carabin, and Lauren Kirberg all played the full 90 minutes and contributed to the remarkable effort that resulted in the Trojans being held scoreless for just the second time this season. The only other USC opponent to accomplish the feat this season was current No. 3 North Carolina.

The 18th meeting between the Sun Devils and Trojans – the last in the Pac-12 era – was the first time both teams were ranked entering the game.

The Sun Devils close out the home portion of their regular season schedule on Sunday (1 p.m.) when they host No. 2 UCLA. Sunday’s game will be Senior Day. Following the game, the program will honor Sun Devil seniors Lieske Carleer, Hannah Leitner, Gabi Rennie and Suzuka YosueClick here to purchase tickets for Sunday’s game.

“Now we get to think about honoring a group of women that I really cannot say enough positive things about,” Winkworth said of Sunday’s Senior Day. “I love them so much and I hope their senior day is really special for them.”

Press Release courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics – Steve Rodriguez 


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