A cross from junior forward Pascale Dumesnil, went directly to redshirt senior forward Amanda Perez, unmarked in front of the goal. But Perez could not redirect the header, and the ball was deflected wide.
On the next possession, Arizona State got the goal kick to bounce past midfield. Not having the numbers advantage, junior forward Christina Edwards let loose a shot from outside the 18-yard box that sailed over redshirt senior goalkeeper Sarah Shimer for the game’s only goal.
Missed chances on offense continue to be the theme for the Huskies (9-8-2, 2-6-2 Pac-12), who lost their fifth straight when they could not net the equalizer in the 17 minutes that followed.
“The game got stretched [in] the second half, and that played into their favor,” head coach Lesle Gallimore said.
It was a heartbreaking way to lose for Washington, who for most of the game had been the one dictating the pace of the game. Well-developed possessions ended on unforced errors, giveaways and off-target shots.
The Huskies finished with 10 shots, but only two were on frame.
“Our effort was there but our execution was not,” Gallimore said. “We created four to five first half chances that could’ve resulted in a goal and needed to. When we had a chance to play a clean final pass to put us [ahead], we were off the mark.”
Two potential scoring opportunities in the first half were taken away by hard tackles. On a counterattack, freshman forward Sianna Siemonsma was brought down by freshman defender Olive Jones. Minutes later, Perez was tripped up inside the box, but also did not draw a whistle from the referee.
The Sun Devils (5-10-3, 1-6-2 Pac-12) committed to getting as many defenders behind the ball as possible, limiting their own offensive chances. There were several instances when one of their players would draw one or two Husky defenders only to have nobody running through to pass the ball to.
They were only getting on offense on sending balls directly ahead to a forward on a counterattack, and that was exactly how Edwards’ goal was created.
“Tough, tough loss for our team today,” Gallimore said. “Physically and emotionally.”
This is the Huskies’ first five-game losing streak since 2005, when they went 0-17.
For their final regular season game, the Huskies will play rival Washington State on Nov. 3. In the Pac-12 standings, Washington sits in eighth place with eight points, four behind the sixth place Cougars (9-7-2, 4-6 Pac-12).
Reach reporter Aaron Huang at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aaron_c_huang