(Photo: Jacob Franklin/WCSN)
Almost two years ago, California native Jake Marthens set foot on campus at ASU. At 5 feet 10 inches and 170 pounds, you wouldn’t be able to tell Marthens is an athlete until he puts on his pads and helmet.
Although he is one of the shortest players on the team, that hasn’t stopped the sophomore attackman from leading the Sun Devils in goals scored with 27 which has already surpassed his season total from last year, 22. Marthens also has 11 ground balls so far this season which is more than double his five ground balls as a freshman.
As a young leader for the Sun Devils, Marthens attributes part of his success this season to having more confidence.
“I didn’t have much confidence as a freshman,” Marthens said. “I know this year coach (MacRobbie) is expecting a lot out of me, so just stepping up to him and having a lot more confidence when I play.”
Trust and team chemistry are essential for any team to win games. Marthens said his team has found that trust and chemistry in the second part of the season and its been evident on the field.
“I think we all trust each other,” Marthens said. “I think a lot of us this year trust everyone with the ball. We are playing more freely and we’re not worrying when a certain person has the ball in their stick.”
“I think that it’s just us coming together,” Marthens said. “We were playing as individuals before and I think these past four games its really been a team effort to get the wins. I mean it showed a lot in the Utah game especially.”
Marthens has been a scoring machine for most of the season, but he caught fire in March and took it to another level. His confidence has gone a long way for him over the past six games as he had six of the 10 goals scored against Virginia Tech and had a hat trick both against UNLV and Grand Canyon University.
The California native has totaled 17 goals over the course of the five-game win streak and gave the Sun Devils the spark they needed heading down the home stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs.
Marthens is as humble of an athlete as there is and just like most humble athletes, he credits his teammates for his success as a scorer – even though he has scored more than anyone on the team this season.
Senior captain and attackman Rhett Rodgers gave Marthens and the attack unit as a whole high praise for their scoring performances in March.
“Our chemistry is a lot better and we’ve been able to click,” Rodgers said.
Not only has Marthens gained the trust of his teammates, but he is also a very coachable player.
“The best compliment we can give Jake is that he’s a coach’s dream,” Offensive Coordinator Justin Straker said. “He does everything you ask him to and he does it the right way. If you ask him to run 400 laps he’ll probably do it. He’s a very coachable kid and he’s a quiet reserved kid. He knows when to speak up when he needs to. He young right now and we’re asking him to do a lot especially as a sophomore attackman. If we had six Jake Marthens I think we would probably be the number one team in the country.”
Marthens and the Sun Devils will finish the regular season at home as they take on the University of Arizona on April 15 at noon.