(Photo: Jodi Vosika/ASU Lacrosse)
Zac Mathien spent his entire freshman year playing behind then-senior Zack Handy, the best faceoff specialist Arizona State has ever seen. This season, Mathien has taken over the starting role and picked up right where Handy left off.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound sophomore began this season in dominant fashion, rarely losing a faceoff in ASU’s first three games. Mathien has won 22 of his 30 face offs on the season.
Unfortunately, about six minutes into the second half of ASU’s game vs Cal Poly, Mathien was struggling to get to the sideline due to his nagging back injury. However, that didn’t stop him from returning later in the close contest.
“Just watching my teammates push through the game,” Mathien said. “I wanted to get back out there with them.”
Arizona State’s back-up faceoff specialist, freshman Trevor Driscoll, did a solid job while Mathien was sitting out. Driscoll won four of seven face offs. When Mathien subbed back in, he was put in as a defensive midfielder.
“I wanted to do whatever I needed to do for the team and for that game it was taking a run at D-Middy, so that’s what I did,” Mathien said.
According to Mathien, the back injury is nothing Sun Devil fans should worry about.
“It was just a reoccurrence, it just got tight, nothing too bad,” Mathien said.
After the team’s 5-4 loss to Cal Poly, the Sun Devils have had some time to recuperate, and for Zac Mathien, this time off is crucial in getting back to full strength.
“I’ve been going to physical therapy in practice, taking it day-by-day, going to the trainer,” Mathien said. “I’ll be back soon enough.”
Head coach Todd MacRobbie has had Mathien continue his standard faceoff specialist work in practice.
“He can focus on his skill work, which is faceoff work, so it’s not that he’s sitting out,” MacRobbie said. “It’s more so that he’s doing his specialty work.”
Mathien is confident he’ll be ready for No. 7 ASU’s match up against No. 13 Boston College on March 7th at the ASU West Campus.
“I’m expected to be back for Boston College, so we’ll be good for that,” Mathien said.
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