(Photo: Jodi Vosika/ASU Lacrosse)
The top seeded Arizona State men’s lacrosse team scored eight goals in the first quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers and never looked back as they captured an 18-5 win in the first round of the MCLA tournament.
Dan Davis led the ASU attack with five goals in the game. Cooper Pickell and Justin Straker helped the Sun Devils’ attack, as Pickell scored four goals and Straker put up three goals and three assists.
ASU’s dominant first quarter, in which they got out to an 8-0 lead, was exactly what head coach Chris Malone wanted out of his squad.
“We need to come out with high energy,” Malone said before the game. “That’s what we need to do. If we do that the rest will work out.”
Straker found Davis twice on the right side of the crease to start the Arizona State scoring about four minutes into the game.
Pickell then added to the lead, scoring the next two goals, one of which was assisted by Logan Quinn.
Kyle Denis, Billy Mayne, Straker and Pickell finished the Sun Devil eight-goal first quarter. Pickell and Mayne both were able to find the cage in the last 10 seconds of the quarter.
ASU controlled the ball almost the entire quarter. The Hoosiers’ best opportunity to score in the first quarter came from a full-field pass from goalie Ward Weber to David Sandberg. ASU goalie Chris DeLuca shoved Sandberg off balance to complete the first quarter shutout.
After seven minutes of play, Pickell opened the second quarter scoring. However, the Hoosiers were able to answer when Weber threw two long passes down field behind for Brent Balek, who put both passes away in empty nets.
Both goals came off of ASU’s 10-man-ride. The Sun Devils pushed as many men forward as they could, including their goalie, to disrupt the Hoosiers in transition.
Malone said that Indiana’s goals off the 10-man-ride were easy to adjust to the rest of the game.
ASU cruised the rest of the way in the second half, outscoring Indiana 9-3. The biggest highlight of the second half came from a behind-the-back goal from Balek, who scored four goals on the day.
Malone said he was pleased by the win, but now he wants to see how his team will play against a quality opponent.
He will get his chance to do so as ASU will play eighth seeded Boston College in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at 7:45 p.m.
You can reach Anthony Prosceno on Twitter @The_A_Pro or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org