(Photo: Jacob Franklin/WCSN)
The Sun Devils graduated five seniors following the 2015-2016 season and replacing them are 11 freshmen looking to make a difference.
This season, the team will be led by captains Rhett Rogers, Kyle Corona, Zach Long, Zac Mathien and Chris Roufanis. Even though these players are key to making a team run, look for newcomers who can fill the missing pieces.
Out of the 11 freshmen, four are standing out during the preseason.
“Taylor Rosales who’s a freshman (is standing out) and we are also looking to get a lot of runs out of Brandon Rogers and in Emerson Roth,” head coach Todd MacRobbie said of his team’s new faces. “There have been some guys who are new to the program that are ready to do some stuff with us.”
Rosales, a defenseman from Shamong, New Jersey, had 48 ground balls in 2016 for Seneca High School. If he continues to build on that number of groundballs, it will undoubtedly help ASU in the defensive zone.
Rogers and Roth not only stood out to MacRobbie, but also caught the eye of senior captain, Chris Roufanis.
“I think Emerson Roth [and] Brandon Rogers at midfield line have been playing really good,” said Roufanis. “They have been shooting the ball well [and] picking the ball up quickly,”
Rogers went to Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, California, where he accumulated 68 points putting him as their leading scorer. He was also one of the team’s captains and two-time Sea View All League player.
Roth received Trinity All-League First Team and All-County Second Team honors as a member of JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano, California.
Roth and Rogers will replace midfielders Adam Beauchamp and Henry Archie who graduated last May. They will bring size and depth into the midfield for the Sun Devils, but they aren’t the only midfielders who will contribute this season.
“I think stand out is P.J. [Paul] Koestler, long stick midfielder, is playing his heart out,” Roufanis said. “Probably the best lacrosse he has ever played and I’ve seen for a while.”
Koestler has set high standards among his teammates and should not be overlooked as the Sun Devils start the season.
The Sun Devils seek support from transfer players as well this season. One of their stand out transfers is junior midfielder Ryan Bradway.
Bradway transferred from New Jersey Institute of Technology where he played two years. In the 2016 season, he recorded ten assists and scored five goals for the Highlanders. The Sun Devils will benefit from his transfer presence, as he has prior collegiate experience unlike incoming freshmen.
“I think they [the transfers] are fitting in well,” MacRobbie said. “The thing with transfers a lot of times is they are older so they are a little more adjusted well to the world…and freshmen are new to the world.”