(Photo: Jodi Vosika/ASU Lacrosse)
Forecasting the game between No. 1 Colorado and No. 2 Arizona State is near impossible. Historically, they’re as neck-and-neck as it gets. CU narrowly leads the all-time series, 5-4, and has edged out the Sun Devils in the past two years at the MCLA Tournament.
Historically, the Buffs have been one of Arizona State’s toughest opponents, and vice versa. With the exception of a game in 2011, when the Sun Devils defeated Colorado 15-5 in Boulder, every game has been decided by one or two goals.
Led by senior attackmen Riley Seidel and Jack Cranston, last year’s Buffs took down an undefeated Arizona State in the national championship game, in a narrow game highlighted by a late comeback effort for ASU.
Two months before that, the Sun Devils swiped a road win over Colorado 8-6, after a breakout four goals in the fourth quarter put ASU in a driver’s seat that it would never relinquish.
And so the rivalry goes.
This year ASU will seem to have the upper hand with returning senior midfielder Cooper Pickell and junior attackman Dan Davis, who have both proven to be a serious threat to the Buffalo defense.
In their previous two encounters with Colorado, the pair has combined for 16 points (nine goals, seven assists). Davis recorded five goals in the title game.
In contrast, CU lost its top three goal-scorers to graduation- Tyler Dougherty, Cranston, and Seidel. The trio was responsible for half of all the goals that Colorado scored against Arizona State in the past four years.
Seidel scored in all four of his matchups against the Sun Devils, netting ten goals in that time. Cranston and Dougherty also produced points for Colorado in each of their matchups with Arizona State.
Colorado will be fielding seniors Mitch Erickson and Jace Gann, both of whom have been consistent goal scorers for Colorado. Last year, the two combined for three goals per game against the Sun Devils.
This year’s leg is set to start at 7:30 p.m. at Reach 11 Sports Complex Field 14 in Phoenix.
You can reach Anthony Marroquin on Twitter @tonymarro11 or via email at email@example.com.