(Photo: Liesl Babicka/WCSN)
The Arizona State men’s club lacrosse team opens their season up this Friday night against Florida State University.
After months of training and anticipation, Arizona State players and coaches both agree it will be refreshing to play someone other than themselves.
“Some of them are really ready to play against someone else,” head coach Todd MacRobbie said after Wednesday’s practice. “They’ve been learning each other’s tendencies a little too much.”
“We’ve been waiting since the first day of practice in September,” senior long-stick-midfielder Zach Long said.
The matchup features two top-20 teams as the Sun Devils come in ranked at No. 8 in the MCLA coaches poll, seven spots ahead of No. 15 Florida State.
The Seminoles are coached by Jerry Delorenzo, who led FSU to a 14-1 record in his first year at the helm.
DeLorenzo was the assistant coach to Matthew Doyle before replacing him as head coach in 2016.
“I expect to see a team that’s hungry to play and come out here with something to prove,” MacRobbie said. “They’re a high quality team that can play.”
Senior attack Rhett Rodgers said the team is ready for the challenge.
“We want to get out there and prove ourselves,” he said.
Rodgers scored 25 goals last year, most out of all Sun Devils on the active roster.
In order to get their first win under their belt, ASU must be ready to stop FSU attackers Cole Lindquist and David Goodman, who put up 44 and 41 goals last season respectively.
That will be up to junior defender Nathan Blair and senior goalkeeper Chris Roufanis, both returning players from last year’s squad.
Blair is the only upperclassmen defender on the current roster.
“We are going to try to stay tough,” Rodgers said. “We want to play fast.”
“We are ready for them and I’m excited to play them,” Long said.
This is the first season opener ASU will play at home in four years.
The Sun Devils have won their last seven season opening games and look to continue that stretch Friday night.
First faceoff is at 7 P.M. at Arizona State’s West campus.
“We are usually on the road for our first games because it’s a little more of a team building experience,” MacRobbie said. “But Florida State is coming and you can’t say no when teams come into town.”