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Soccer edges NAU in season opener

August 20, 2010

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Karin Volpe's 20th career goal with 1:06 remaining proved to be the game winner as the Arizona State women's soccer team held off a determined Northern Arizona squad 4-3 on Friday in the season opener for both teams.

Volpe's goal capped off a frenetic second half of play as the Sun Devils saw leads of 2-0 and 3-2 slip away before finding a way to secure the win.

"We found a way to win which is nice and there is no place to go but up," ASU head coach Kevin Boyd said following the game. "We did not play very well. Give credit to NAU. They came out in the second half a whole different team and put us under tremendous pressure. Us not playing well helped them. It's great that we responded, but we have to take over a game."

Given that the Sun Devils (1-0) had defeated NAU (0-1) by a combined score of 8-2 the last two seasons, there appeared little doubt that ASU wouldn't continue their winning trend after taking a 2-0 halftime lead on Friday. Redshirt sophomore forward Sierra Cook (shot from 20 yards, 18:00) and redshirt freshman forward Miah Mollay (open shot from top of the box, 31:47) were responsible for ASU's goals in the opening 45 minutes, a half in which the Sun Devils outshot NAU 9-1.

The Lumberjacks would tie the game within the first 12 minutes of the second half as senior defender Kristi Andreassen (free kick from 45 yards, 50:07) and junior forward Jenna Samora (shot from 20 yards off crossbar and right post, 56:28) ignited NAU's rally.

The Sun Devils would reclaim the lead in the 64th minute when freshman forward Devin Marshall took a pass from senior Jill Shoquist, went left and slipped a perfectly-placed shot between three defenders and passed the goalkeeper into the opposite post.

ASU's lead would last fewer than three minutes as NAU tied the game at 3-3 when junior midfielder Ashley Marrapode rebounded a shot by teammate Sam Monahan into the net.

Following Marrapode's goal neither team was able to find the back of the net over the next 22-plus minutes. After going to overtime 10 times last season it appeared that ASU was headed there again until Volpe tipped a shot deflected by Alexandra Elston into the net for the game winner, the 10th game-winning goal of her career.

The Sun Devils return to action on Sunday, August 29 when they take on Baylor in their 2010 home opener. Game time is 1 p.m. at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium.