This weekend, No. 2 ASU lacrosse kicks off its season In years past, ASU has faired well against the Golden Bears and the Cardinals, but with changes to the team and what happened over the weekend with Whittier, the sun devils could see a different result compared to years’ past games.
Golden Boy for the Golden Bears
The last time these two teams met, ASU won 14-8.
It’s been two years since the Sun Devils and the Golden Bears have met, and this is not the weekend that ASU wants to see Cal since they’re coming off an upset loss in overtime with Santa Clara.
All things aside, a lot can happen in two years and it certainly is evident. From coaches to players, both teams have had their fair share of new faces.
The top scorers for both teams in the 2013 matchup have since graduated. For ASU, attackman Payson Clark started off his massive breakout year with four goals in the Cal game. During the 2013 season, Clark would go on to lead the team with 66 goals.
For the Bears, attackman Daniel Cohen put up four assists. Cohen was very similar to Clark, and also ended the season as Cal’s leader in goals with 53.
In addition to the transition among players, both teams are also sporting new head coaches who are in their first year with the program. ASU has Joe Thon (replacing long-time coach Chris Malone) and Cal has Ned Webster (replacing long-time coach Dan Nourse).
Between the coaches, the biggest difference is the experience. Webster comes with nine years of coaching experience at Dominican University. During his time there, he was able to take a winless team and turn it into a nationally ranked NCAA program.
As for Thon, he was a star player, drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 Major League Lacrosse draft. After spending two years on an MLL practice squad, he moved on coaching positions, for a high school varsity team and most recently at Albright College.
Sticking it to Stanford
ASU trumped the Cardinal last season in a win 16-7.
There hasn’t been as much change in this matchup as there was between ASU and Cal.
Attackman Neil Hamamoto and midfielder Peter Doyle were two players that had significant games against ASU, and both are still play-makers for the Golden Bears this year
Hamamoto posted three goals in the game last year. On the season, he had a limited impact of 16 goals and 13 assists.
As for Doyle, he put up two goals and one assist in the game. Doyle led the team last year with 35 goals en route to being named an All American.
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