Jonesboro (ASU) - The Arkansas State soccer team dropped their final home match of the season to No. 21 Denver, 2-0, in Sun Belt Conference action Thursday at the ASU Soccer Complex.
Denver improved to 15-2 with an unbeaten 9-0 league mark while the Red Wolves fell to 7-9-1 with a 3-6 mark in conference play.
"There's a reason why they (Denver) are No. 21 in the nation, and I think today they showed it. If I have to take any consolation out of this, it's the fact that we didn't play our game and lost. It would have been more painful for us to play our game and up to our potential and then come up on the short end. We just have to look forward to North Texas now," said head coach Tafadzwa Ziyenge.
Denver struck early when Kaitlin Bast headed in a short corner played to her by Nicholette DiGiacamo in the 10th minute (9:45).
Bast then one timed a shot into the net from the 18 to the far post which was passed to her from Kalie Vaughn at the 16-minute mark.
"In the second half, we did start to settle down, but what we needed to do was settle down early to prevent them from scoring. Again, there's a reason why they've won the conference so many times. This is what they do to a lot of teams. They are able to take an early lead and then just cruise. I think we saw an example of that. In the second half, they were content to just let us put a little bit of pressure on them. Then, they just clear it away. It's a little bit unfortunate that we brought in our highest intensity after two goals had gone in. If we had it do to differently, we would have tried to start from the get-go. It might have been that we got overwhelmed by the occasion, because it was Denver and because we are so young. We learned something out of this, and hopefully we'll meet them again."
Denver outshot ASU 18-10 including a 12-6 margin in the first half, taking 11 shots on goal to the Red Wolves three.
Junior goalkeeper Megan Stoltzfus made seven saves in the contest. Michele Clark, Ashley McMurtry and Megan Mace each had two shots to lead ASU's efforts.
ASU continues league action when they travel to Denton, Texas to face the Mean Green of North Texas on Sunday at 1 p.m.