Eva van Deursen’s last-second heroics propel Sun Devil Soccer to win in Pac-12 opener

BOULDER, Col. – by Eva van Deursen a long-range shot with three seconds remaining found its goal to propel the Sun Devil soccer team to a 3-2 win at Colorado on Friday in the opening round of Pac-12 for both teams.

For the Sun Devils (5-0-2, 1-0 Pac-12), van Deursen’s goal – his second record, a new career record in a single game – capped a fluctuating battle to help them remain unbeaten.

With just over 30 minutes to go, it didn’t look like the Sun Devils would need van Deursen’s last-second heroism to claim victory after his first goal in 59.th minute, set by teammate Nicole Douglasgave ASU a 2-0 lead.

The Buffaloes (6-2-2, 0-1), would not have gone down without a fight. Goals by Juliauna Hayward (70th minute) and Civana Kuklmann (72nd minute) scored at 2-2 and suddenly it was a brand new match.

“I felt for the first hour, we really checked [the game]. Then, I created another opportunity where I felt that we should have taken a penalty, but it was not given “, ASU coach Graham Winkworth She said. “That moment almost changed the game. Colorado is back and scored two good goals. Fortunately, the game lasts 90 minutes and with three seconds left Eva [van Deursen] came forward and scored the winner. Overall, it seemed like a fair result. We deserved the three points. “

In the end, it was the play of three of the ASU’s fifth year players that helped the Sun Devils establish early control and then find a way to win again after their advantage wore off.

Alessia Delgado (64th career start in 71 career games), and with van Deursen (73rd starts in 76 career games) provides Sun Devil midfield with nearly 150 games of experience, put the Sun Devils ahead after scoring the first goal of the game in 30th minute. Douglas, who made it to Friday’s game leading the NCAA in goals per game and points per game and who made it 78th starts in as many games on Friday, paired with van Deursen to extend ASU’s lead to 2-0 in the 60sth minute. After the match, Winkworth noted the importance the trio played in winning.

“Alexia scored from a nice free kick. It was a wonderful shot,” said Winkworth. “The combination of [Nicole Douglas and Eva [van Deursen] making the 2-0 was sublime. It was a great team goal. Having that kind of leadership, but also that kind of quality, has been huge for us all season and it has been today too. “

Equally important to Winkworth was his team’s ability to stay focused after Colorado drew the game, something that was made possible by a great game made by the ASU freshman goalkeeper. Pauline Nelles.

“We controlled the game for the first hour and the lack of a penalty was a momentum,” explained Winkworth. “Thanks to Colorado for getting back in the game. Pauline [Nelles] he made a wonderful save to keep him at 2-2, and moments like that underscore why we wanted him to be a Sun Devil. He made a huge save to keep up the 2-2 and luckily we managed to win the game after that. ”

Winkworth said what the ASU has accomplished is even more impressive when you take into account the caliber of the opponent they were facing.

“Colorado are a well-trained team and have a lot of athleticism,” Winkworth said. “They are deadly on set pieces, which I heard we dealt very well today. They have excellent talent. I wish them the best for the rest of the season and I hope both teams can still play until November.”

The Sun Devils will return home next weekend for matches against California (Thursdays at 7pm) and Stanford No. 19 (Sunday at 1pm). Click here for more information on how to purchase tickets for one or both games.

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