(Photo: Jodi Vosika/ASU Lacrosse)
After facing off in the first weekend of the season, No. 10 Arizona State and USC are going at it again, this time in the first round of the SLC playoffs.
The first matchup between these two teams is lopsided in the Sun Devils favor, as they won that game by a score of 11-4.
Since then the season has been a rollercoaster of a ride for both teams.
The Sun Devils got out to a 2-0 start, but after that really struggled, losing four games in a row. The team figured it out and won four out of their last five games, and that includes three “hell” week wins against top-10 opponents.
During that late stretch in which ASU played its best lacrosse it was the younger players that stood out.
Freshman attackman Jake Marthens and sophomore attackman Patrick Haviland had their breakout games against No. 24 UNLV. Marthens notched five goals and Haviland netted four.
Another big change for the Sun Devils was between the pipes, as they switched goalies and now freshman goalie Johnny Perlite finds himself in a starting job. It was junior transfer Russell Bartle who was in the net for ASU the last time the met the Trojans.
The Trojans have not had the easiest season either, though.
Going 8-7, and 3-2 in conference play, USC struggled trying to get a win against a top-ranked opponent. They lost to both No. 1 Chapman and No. 12 UCSB during conference play.
There is a trio of Trojans who all have been standouts on the year.
Freshman attackman Casey Kravit, sophomore attackman Henry Armistead, and junior midfielder Coleman Lee have shouldered the load each grabbing 19 goals.
What to Watch For
The matchup to watch in this game will be the face-offs.
For ASU sophomore midfielder Zac Mathien has dominated on the seasons, going 129-48. While for the Trojans there is not one standout, as they split the time between multiple face-off guys.
If either team can establish possession they can dictate the pace of the game.
The winner of this game will go on to face No. 1 Chapman in the second round of the SLC playoffs.
Watch the Game Here
If you have any questions or comments, you can contact Jacob Franklin via Twitter @JFrankSports or via email at email@example.com.