(Photo: Katherine Fitzgerald/WCSN)
The No. 5 Arizona State Sun Devils are going into their second matchup of the season against the USC Trojans, coming off a 10-7 win over the No. 12 Oregon State Beavers.
The Arizona State veterans took over in the first game of the season. Senior attackman Finn Wells and senior midfielder Adam Beauchamp led their team with a combined seven goals.
ASU and USC have a similar coaching situation, as both teams are going into this season with new head coaches.
USC’s head coach, Adam Ghitelman, was an assistant coach at Harvard University for four years. Ghitelman is in his fourth season of playing Major League Lacrosse and was named a MLL All-Star goalie in 2012.
USC is not known for being a lacrosse powerhouse in its history and the program has struggled to attract players in recent years. Ghitelman and his coaching staff are looking to change the lacrosse culture in southern California and take the program to new heights.
The Trojans are going into this game 1-1 on the season and coming off a 0-0 draw against the Washington State Cougars.
Three players who have been instrumental in USC’s offense are sophomore midfielder David Ayscue, freshman midfielder Coleman Lee and sophomore attackman Henry Armistead. They are each averaging 3 goals per game this season.
Playing on back-to-back days to open the season could present a difficult challenge in fatigue for ASU. The Sun Devils may have to dig deep to stay in it against the Trojans.
“I don’t think you really have to tell them much to get hyped up. I mean, it’s a game,” MacRobbie said. “They need to be hyped up every game.”
The battle at midfield will be a factor in this one. 57.9 percent of USC’s goals scored and 90 percent of ASU’s goals scored came from midfielders.
Experience played a big part in the first game and will be key for Arizona State’s success moving forward.
“We know we can beat anyone as long as we’re playing our game,” senior midfielder Henry Archie said.
The expectations on this ASU team going into any game this season are always the same.
“The expectation is to go out and compete and win,” MacRobbie said.
The game will take place in Westwood, California at 1:00 p.m. MST.