(Photo: Jodi Vosika/ASU Lacrosse)
Graduation is just months away for senior attackman Dan Davis, who was just named MCLA’s Preseason Player of the Year by Tim Haslem of LaxMagazine.com.
During his three seasons in Tempe, Davis has already established himself as one of the most prolific goal-scorers in Sun Devil history. Through 58 career games he’s tallied up 128 goals (2.21 per game). This season he’ll have a chance to contest Eric Nelson’s ASU (and SLC) record of 184 career goals.
Last year, the Connecticut native had his best year to date. His 59 goals in 2014 were good for third in the entire MCLA, and his efforts earned him a place as a First Team All-American.
The departure of key players from the 2014 team that made it to the title game will thrust Davis into the limelight of leadership. He’s serving as a captain this season as the most experienced member of the ASU attack.
“We pretty much had an all-star team last year and lost a bunch of guys,” Davis said. “So it’s kind of tough picking up the pieces, but it’s definitely on me to keep kids positive and keep practice intense and make sure everybody is working hard.”
There are a lot of eyes on Davis as he’s poised for a big senior year with the graduation of prominent goal-scorers in attackman Justin Straker and midfielder Logan Quinn. Avenging the result from 2014 is the top priority for Davis, though.
“We got a really tough schedule so I want to win a bunch of games and maybe make another run at a title,” Davis said.
Davis is facing added pressure as a leader to help his team overcome last year’s crushing defeat in the national championship game against Colorado. He scored five goals, matching his postseason career-high.
It will be an adjustment year for Davis from a role standpoint as well. His on-field experience has, in the past, featured the vision and operation of Straker from behind the net and Quinn from the top of the box. This year, it will be on him to create plays.
“Quarterbacking the offense, letting kids know where they have to be and calling out sets and making sure that the offense is on the same page,” Davis said.
Since the 2013 preseason, Davis has been dealing with bulging discs in his back. He still regularly visits the trainer. Although the injury lingers and is especially prevalent during long conditioning days, Davis doesn’t believe it will impact his play on the field.
“For the most part I just try to work through it. Once my adrenaline gets going in a game or practice I don’t really feel it too much.”