Cougars split at Sun Desert Classic

In their first-ever Sun Devil Desert Classic against PAC-12 teams, the Cougars defeated Arizona State University 1-0, netted by junior midfielder Jasmine Martinez.

“We knew this would test us mentally,” head coach Chris Pfau said in a statement. “The Sun Desert Classic is a tough tournament and Arizona State is a very talented and dynamic team.”

Pfau attributed the team’s success to the defense.

“It has been a long three weeks, but it was great to see our team step up like this,” Pfau said.

“Everyone stepped up and we needed that. Anytime you can beat a PAC-12 school on the road is a great thing.”

Two days later, the Cougars lost 2-1 to the University of Arizona Wildcats in their second game of the weekend.

“We came out and played a good first half,” Pfau said in a statement.“We came out with confidence and some good energy. In the second half, we didn’t deal with pressure well and lost our legs and that hurt us. We fought to the end and had a chance to tie the game. If we can learn to play the same way no matter what the situation is, we will do well.”

The tournament resulted in a 1-1 record for the three teams.

“This weekend was a tough trip, but it will really help us in the long run,” Pfau said.

“Both games put us in tough situations and made us deal with them. If we continue to build on these kinds of games, it should be a good ride.”

Senior midfielder and defender Kaci Bush, junior goalkeeper Cami Koski and Martinez were all named to the All-Tournament Team.

Bush, who played the full 90 minutes of each game, helped hold the score Friday. Collectively, Koski made 18 saves this weekend, 12 of which occurred during Sunday’s game. In addition to netting Friday’s goal against the Sun Devils, Martinez assisted in the single goal made by junior midfielder Kylie Cook against the Wildcats.

“This honor is very well-deserved,” Pfau said. “They all had a great weekend against two very good teams.”

The Cougars now stand 3-4-0 and will welcome the University of Texas at San Antonio to Robertson Stadium on Sept. 16 for their final nonconference game.

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