The Arizona State soccer team has caught the injury bug.
Six weeks into the season, six women on the roster have been injured, forcing coach Kevin Boyd to hunt for additional players around campus.
The women started the season with 22 players, but six suffered season-ending injuries, dropping the roster to 16 players. Three of the 16 are goalkeepers, which leaves only 13 field players and a big hole in the net.
Boyd found two players two weeks ago from the Arizona State club team to bump the numbers up to 18 players. However, most Pac-10 teams travel with 22 players, he said.
“The difficulty is bringing in good people and getting them fit and getting them some sort of training environment to try and bring their level up to the Pac-10 level and try to get them on the same page,” he said.
Boyd said he is still looking for more players, and encourages ASU students to try out.
“As word has got out through campus that we’re hurting for numbers we’ve had players that are current students at ASU say, ‘oh I’ve always wanted to play, now’s my chance to go try.’ It’s great,” Boyd said.
After two consecutive wins against UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State last weekend, the Devils face Arizona on Oct.10 in Tempe.
The Devils defeated the Wildcats 2-1 last year.
“If you look at the stats, they had a better start than we did, and we just had a better last weekend. I’d say it’s going to be a very even game. I think Arizona’s quite a good team this year,” Boyd said.
The men and women’s cross country teams will host their annual home meet, the 23 rd Joe Uff/ASU invite at Kiwanis Park on Oct. 3.
The men’s 8,000 meter race starts at 5 p.m. and the women’s 5,000 meter run kicks off at 5:30 p.m.
ASU spokesman Alex Ryan said most of the team’s top runners will sit out to rest for NCAA pre-national meet Oct. 18.
The younger runners will compete against nine teams including Arizona and Northern Arizona University.
ASU’s men will be defending their title, and the women will battle to take the title from the Wildcats. Both the men and women have won the meet three times in the past 23 years.
Uff, an ASU graduate and former cross country runner, died in April from cancer. Uff ran for the Sun Devils from 1998 to 2000 and lost his four-year battle to the disease at age 31.
The last local meet for the Devils is the Mesa Thunderbird invite Oct. 17. Many of the younger runners will perform in the race and the top runners will sit out in preparation for the big NCAA pre-national meet the next day.
Arizona’s sweep of the Sun Devils Wednesday broke the Devils’ two-year winning streak over the Wildcats.
Coach Jason Watson said it’s a step back for the team.
“I think that we have been showing significant improvement, making some nice progress in some areas and (Wednesday) we didn’t quite get the return on that as we have been seeing,” he said.
The team struggled with passing and serving, which eventually led to the outcome of the game, Watson said.
The women are 10-6 overall and 1-2 in the Pac-10.
The Devils will hit the gym for a week and then head to Berkeley, Calif. to face California in another Pac-10 match on Oct. 10.
“When we get back in the gym we’re going to work on pass serve and serving balls and seeing if we can disrupt the opponent’s offense and stay on task in those two areas,” Watson said.
The Devils will have one more chance to seek revenge over the Wildcats on Nov. 2 in Tempe.
“There’s lots of volleyball left to be played so we’ll get more opportunities,” Watson said. =
Sophomore Kelcy McKenna will be the lone Sun Devil to compete in the 2008 Riviera/ ITA All-American Championships Sept. 30 through Oct.5 in California
McKenna and junior Nadia Abdala qualified for the All-American Championships. Abdala qualified for singles and doubles, but has mononucleosis and will not be competing in the tournament.
Last weekend, McKenna dominated the Cal Nike Invitational. She won both the singles gold and doubles gold titles at the team’s second tournament of the season. Abdala did not compete.
The next team tournament is the ITA Regional Championships Oct. 23 in San Diego. The Devils will host their only home meet of the year, the ASU Thunderbird Nov. 7-9.
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