(Photo: Jodi Vosika/ASU Lacrosse)
Schedules for the upcoming 2015 MCLA season were released on Monday and once again, the lineup has Arizona State pitted against the best the league has to offer. The Sun Devils will battle against six of last year’s MCLA tournament teams and nine teams currently represented in Inside Lacrosse’s Preseason Top 25.
The Sun Devils’ slate of games is highlighted by a four-game stretch from late February into March that begins with road games against No. 8 UC Santa Barbara and No. 11 Cal Poly, two familiar foes that ASU didn’t play against in the 2014 regular season (although the Sun Devils did defeat the Gauchos during the SLC Tournament).
The team will return to their home state to finish out the brutal stretch, only to face even stiffer competition as perennial contenders No. 1 Colorado and No. 4 Colorado State head to Phoenix for the Lax Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic. Last season, ASU took care of both Colorado schools in consecutive road games on a weekend road trip through the state but were unable to knock down the Buffs a second time around when they met in the MCLA Championship game months later.
Conference play for the Sun Devils will be saved for the final four games of the season and is highlighted by a road matchup against No. 7 Grand Canyon as well as the season finale at home against No. 14 Arizona.
After going 3-0 versus Chapman in 2014 and 5-2 over the past three seasons, ASU will not face the Panthers in the regular season for the first time since 2011.
Arizona State will open the season in Los Angeles, beginning with a matchup against No. 19 California before facing off with Stanford, a team they defeated 16-7 in the season’s opening game last season.
The Sun Devils will play only three of their scheduled home games on their actual home turf at ASU West Campus, two of those being back-to-back midseason match-ups with No. 21 Liberty and No. 17 Texas, with the conference match-up against the Wildcats being the other.