(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
No. 11 Arizona State is on a three game losing skid after their 8-7 loss to No. 3 BYU on March 12. Until this recent losing streak, ASU hasn’t lost back-to-back games since 2012.
This year’s squad noticed where the season was headed and one of the leaders of the team made sure to let the team know that it will not continue.
“We definitely had sort of a restructure of our team. We weren’t going to continue down that same road,” senior midfielder and team captain Henry Archie said.
“To expect something to be different without changing something I think is the definition of insanity. That’s why we had to sort of restructure not only our team, but also our focus.”
ASU has had trouble with ball movement and team work on the offensive end, averaging only 3.2 team assists per game.
Not only that, the Sun Devils are 55-30 on faceoffs this season as opposed to last year, when they were 85-31 on face-offs at this mark of the season.
The team continues to struggle on the defensive end, cumulating 64 ground balls versus 166 groundballs at this point last season.
After losing three straight games, MacRobbie’s message to the team was to keep the losses in mind, but move on.
“Just play the next game,” MacRobbie said. “Two of those games are one goal losses, which easily could have been three goal wins. You know, 20 percent of the shots go the different way, and the games’ outcomes are different.”
The Sun Devils have lost the last three games by an average of 1.67 goals. Proving that each game was in ASU’s reach.
Archie thinks the team is finally realizing the sense of urgency they need to take them to the next level.
“That’s something that we’ve tried to hold constant the entire year. Maybe a bit more of a sense of urgency is finally showing,” Archie said. “We need to have that, because like I said, we just lost three straight. It’s gut check time.”
Last year’s team averaged 12.8 goals per game through the first five games of the season, while this season, the team is averaging just 8.4.
MacRobbie believes his team’s shift in psyche will help them play at the high level they’re capable of.
“They should have been having a sense of urgency since the beginning,” MacRobbie said. “I don’t think that they have to extend themselves beyond their own capabilities, but if they can play within their capabilities, the game should take care of itself.”
ASU’s first chance to put their new mentality to the test comes against the defending champions Grand Canyon University at ASU West Campus on April 1 at 7:00 p.m. (MST).
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