JONESBORO, AR - After switching game times due to lightning last night, the Arkansas State soccer team got their day going with a 4-0 win over Mississippi Valley State Saturday morning at the ASU Soccer Park as a part of the first round of the inaugural Red Wolves Cup.
"It was a total team performance; we knew we would need that in order to have a chance to bounce back tomorrow. It's always hard to play two college games on back to back days," said ASU head coach Derek Pittman. "It was important for us to use our entire bench and be able to trust those kids and keep the tempo up for us. We accomplished both of our goals today which was to score first and get a shutout. We have yet to score first in any of our first three games, so it's important for this young group of kids to get off to the right start and we were able to do that today."
The Red Wolves on the board early when Miranda Wiley got her first tally of the season on a feed from Jill Fuerman. Wiley took a pass in the center of the field and fired a shot from 18 yards out to the top of the goal putting ASU on top at the 7:47 mark of the first-half. Tracy Powell also notched an assist on the play.
Fureman recorded her second assist of the match when she fed fellow freshman Mallory McGilvray on the right side. McGilvray took the pass and fired a shot to the top right of the goal, scoring her first goal as an ASU Red Wolf in the 29th minute (28:04).
Ashley McMurtry pushed ASU to 3-0 in the final minute of the first-half (44:41) when she scored a goal from the right side of the net. Megan Mace passed the ball to Nitti who then redirected to McMurtry for the score.
In the second half, Nitti tacked on a goal off a header in the front of the box in the 67th minute (66:59). McMurtry played the ball into the air and Nitti headed the ball into the net in the front of the net in traffic to push the Red Wolves to 4-0.
ASU outshot the Delta Devilettes 27-4, taking 12 shots on goal to MVSU's two. Twenty of ASU's total shot count came in the first half.
Susan Brown earned the second win of her collegiate career playing 77:50 in goal for ASU, making two saves. Megan Stoltzfus shares the shutout playing the final 12:10 of the match. Kayla Boyd took the loss for MVSU making eight saves in the complete-game.
Freshman Lucy Brient and Nitti led ASU with four shots each, while Tory Pitts and Karly Kuranda each had three shots to help the Red Wolves.
Arkansas State played all 23 available players in the match.
"I think one of the positive things about our group, to be honest with you, is that opponents are going to have a difficult time preparing for us because they won't know where the offense is going to come from." added Pittman. "We have so many quality players and we are able to make so many subs that by the time they (opponents) think they have a hold on one group of forwards, here comes another group. So, we can maintain that intensity and pressure we can keep teams on the back foots and keep them guessing. It was good to see our forwards and midfielders combining so well to get forward in numbers. It's important for us to spread the attack."
It will be a quick turnaround for ASU as they continue play in the Red Wolves Cup at 2 p.m. Sunday facing Grambling. MVSU plays UCA in the first game of the day at 11 a.m. Sunday.