(Photo: Jacob Franklin/WCSN)
ASU Men’s Lacrosse Weekend Preview
Arizona State Men’s Lacrosse heads to Georgia for its first road slate of the 2017 season.
The Sun Devils will travel 1,900 miles across the country to take on the No. 5 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday, and the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday.
ASU head coach Todd MacRobbie believes the team will not be affected too much by travelling a far distance this weekend.
“I don’t think it’s the travel aspect of it. It’s more so them just playing the game,” MacRobbie said.
When asked about the tough road tests this season, senior captain Kyle Corona said the team travels well and noted strong road play by the team throughout his career at ASU. The back-to-back games this weekend are the first two of seven away games for the Sun Devils.
Coming off a one-point loss to No. 15 Florida State in the first game of the season, ASU looks to bounce back in a big way against two top MCLA programs.
Sizing up Georgia Tech
Ranked No. 5 in the 2017 MCLA Coaches Preseason Poll, the Yellow Jackets pose a tough challenge. Georgia Tech is already 2-0 on the season with wins over Ole Miss, 18-4, and Southern Methodist, 14-9.
Tech is led by 2015 MCLA Coach of the Year, Ken Lovic. He holds a record of 93-39 with the Yellow Jackets since becoming head coach in 2009.
Senior midfielder Holland Frost is the face-off specialist for Georgia Tech with an 11-3 record through two games. He is also tied for the team lead in points with eight, earning five goals and three assists already this season.
Sophomore attackman Tim Peterson and freshman midfielder Gabriel Banks each have eight points as well. Both players scored a total of six goals and two assists in the team’s first two games.
Arizona State is prepared for the tough challenge on Saturday.
“They have a great opportunity going out to Georgia to play Georgia Tech,” MacRobbie said. “You know you don’t always get to have a great chance to prove to yourselves that you can play again against the number five team in the country to hopefully bounce right back at it.”
The Georgia Bulldogs are off to a fast 3-0 start. The club has earned wins over Clemson, Kennesaw state and Georgia Southern to start the 2017 season.
Georgia is a team known to spread the ball around as much as possible. Thirteen different players have at least one point through three games played.
Senior midfielder John Newar, junior goaltender Connor Redmond, senior attackman Phil McCarthy and junior defenseman Alex Gasta are the four captains leading the Bulldogs.
The top face-off specialist for UGA is sophomore Clay Batley. He holds a strong 8-1 record so far this season.
Junior midfielder Ian Hurley has found the back of the net for a team-high eight times already. Senior attackman Whit Anderson leads the team in assists with five.
The last time the Sun Devils and Bulldogs met was back during the 2013 national tournament. Arizona State won convincingly, claiming a 17-5 victory.
Arizona State takes a certain approach to practice when it comes to playing games so close together. MacRobbie explained that in the early part of the week, the team focuses practice toward the second match-up. Then, in the later part of the week the preparation switches to the first opponent.
The Sun Devils’ main priority in preparation is defense. For upcoming opponents, a defensive game plan is created at practice.
However, there is a different mindset when it comes to the team’s offense.
“Offensively it’s all about us, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing,” MacRobbie said.
Sophomore attackman Jake Marthens will try to continue his offensive success from the first game. He had a hat trick, scoring three of the Sun Devils’ five goals in the loss to Florida State.
Arizona State used one face-off specialist in the entirety of the first game. Sophomore FOS Trevor Driscoll went 11-3 in the circle.
The Sun Devils will look to improve the offense during the road trip after only scoring five goals. MacRobbie established that preparation for this weekend wasn’t anything different.
“The offense is the same,” MacRobbie said. “It’s just the understanding of how to do the offense is what needed to increase, the individual IQ, and also the aspect of them having good stick skills.”
The first game against Georgia Tech is at 11 AM MST and will be streamed live on LacrosseFire.TV. Sunday’s game against Georgia is at 10 AM MST and can be listened to live on Lacrosse Talk Radio athttp://ow.ly/IwPl3090Lwk .