TEMPE, Ariz. -- Washington (7-6-3, 3-1-3 Pac-12) continued its momentum in Pac-12 play, earning a big road point at Arizona State (8-6-1, 3-3-1) with a 0-0 draw in the desert on Friday night. Washington continued to be the league’s top defense, earning a fourth shutout in conference.
“We’ll take the point on the road,” said head coach Lesle Gallimore. “They came out and played more direct than we thought, but in the second half we made some adjustments and created some of our own chances. They are a good team so getting a point is OK, but it sets up a big game on Sunday where we are going to need to get three against Arizona.”
Washington got another sensation game in net from Megan Kufeld, making a career-best 11 saves. She picked up her seventh shutout of the season and lowered her goals against average to 0.72. In the first half, Kufeld made three saves as the Sun Devils controlled play, outshooting the Dawgs, 11-3.
However, Washington made their adjustments and had more chances in the second half and overtime. The Dawgs began to get the ball on the ground and pass, earning more possession going forward. Jaclyn Softli came off the bench and provided a spark, having a great chance with a breakaway and shot on goal, but ASU keeper Chandler Morris made the save.
Lindsay Elston also had her chances, leading the team with three shots. Late in regulation she had her best chance when the Dawgs earned a free kick, but the shot went just high.
It was a physical contest for both sides as a total of 39 fouls were called.
“The game was physical both ways,” said Gallimore. “Our backline did a good job holding up and keeping Arizona State from scoring.”
The backline has been the key for the Dawgs all season. Washington has allowed just three goals in seven conference games with Kufeld at times looking sensational, but also getting great play from the four defenders. Molly Boyd anchors the defense in the middle that has also seen Ally Brahs step up as a starter after Stine Schoening was lost for the season with injury. Outside backs senior Lindsey Bos and freshman Havana McElvaine have also been great solidifying the defense that had some issues early on after a rash of injuries.
Washington will now have less than 48 hours to recover and get ready for Arizona to complete the weekend. Arizona fell 4-0 to Washington State on Friday night and will be looking to salvage the weekend.
“It’s a must win for us,” said Gallimore. “They are behind us in the conference standings and the RPI so we really need to get three points.”
After getting some reprieve from the desert heat with a night game on Friday, Sunday’s game is at noon in Tucson. With a win Washington will stay near the top of the Pac-12 table. The Dawgs kept pace with first-place UCLA as the Bruins tied Utah, although Colorado jumped ahead of UW with their win over USC.