(Photo: Jodi Vosika/ASU Lacrosse)
In a battle of top 10 powers, the No. 7 ranked Cal Poly Mustangs edged out the No. 3 Arizona State Sun Devils 5-4.
ASU led 2-1 at halftime, but the Mustangs scored three goals in the third quarter and outscored the Sun Devils 4-2 in the second half.
Mustangs head coach Bobby Dabrieo said he told his team at halftime they had to play confident.
“We’re a really young team, especially offensively,” Dabrieo said. “We have six freshman that are in the rotation there, so I stressed to them this is just another lacrosse game that we had to play smarter and really value possession of the ball.”
Sophomore attackman Andrew Laron was just of one Mustang players to get in on the scoring action Saturday afternoon. The play of Laron was summed up nicely by Debrieo as ‘resilient’.
“He came out and made a few mental mistakes early, along with the rest of our team,” Dabrieo said. “I’m proud of the way he fought back and bounced back in the second half because he was really there for us in the end when we needed him.”
For the Sun Devils, junior attackman Rhett Rodgers recorded his second hat trick in the past two games.
“He was the guy when we came in at timeout at the end there in the quarter and he was the one that took over and led the guys,” Arizona State head coach Todd MacRobbie said. “He was the one telling them, ‘hey, we’re not losing.’ and, as you can tell by his effort, he left it all on the field.”
MacRobbie also mentioned that ASU’s loss was ultimately decided by its lack of execution only scoring a season-low four goals. For the Mustangs, goalie Sean Pihl stood tall when it mattered most and preserved the one-goal win.
“He’s the backbone of our team,” Dabrieo said. “Without No. 8 there, we’re a different team and he has a lot of confidence and it bleeds out to the other guys on the team.”
ASU is off until March 7, when the Boston College Eagles make their cross-country journey to the Grand Canyon State.
But it does not appear ASU is taking any time off after this home defeat.
“We’re going to have a really hard week of practice next week,” Rodgers said.
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