(Photo: Jodi Vosika/ASU Lacrosse)
The No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devils had a tough time in the second round of the SLC tournament and fell to the No. 1 Chapman Panthers, 15-11.
After beating the Panthers five consecutive times, ASU couldn’t handle Chapman’s high-octane offense this time around.
Senior attackman Adam Beauchamp thought Chapman came out on fire, and that was too much for ASU to handle. The Panthers had a huge 11-2 advantage by halftime.
“I think that not being able to have our full routine didn’t help us play our best, but I think on that day Chapman just brought more than we did,” Beauchamp said. “They were ready to play; we didn’t come out ready to play from the first whistle.”
Chapman held junior attackman Rhett Rodgers to zero points for the game, just the second time that’s happened all season. Sophomore midfielder Tommy Carasco and freshman attackman Patrick Haviland filled Rodgers’ void well, combining for five goals and four assists.
“Tommy [Carasco] really stepped up when we made the switch to take Rhett out and put Tommy in there,” senior midfielder Finn Wells said. “That was a big key.”
Sophomore faceoff specialist Zac Mathien was 3 and 7 in the faceoff circle, contributing to some of ASU’s issues that ultimately led to the loss, according to Coach Todd MacRobbie.
“We weren’t getting the faceoff possessions that we’re normally getting,” MacRobbie said. “We had a couple turnovers, took some poor shots, gave them quick outlets and quick clears.”
MacRobbie believes the biggest problems for the Sun Devils came on the defensive end. They didn’t do enough to challenge Chapman’s strong offense, led by the dynamic duo of senior attackman Dave Apruzzese and sophomore attackman Dylan Garner, who combined for a whopping 11 goals and three assists.
“They were tougher than us and we didn’t be the tough guys that we needed to be on defense,” MacRobbie said. “I expected more from the team as a whole, especially on defense. I didn’t think the defensive guys really put in the effort that they should’ve.”
Freshman goalie Johnny Perlite didn’t help the cause, allowing 13 goals against on a save percentage of 35%.
ASU made a comeback towards the end, beating the Panthers in a fourth quarter goal count of 6-1. Coach MacRobbie thinks his team made smarter decisions, but it was too little, too late.
“When we decided to play and take good shots, the shots went the right way. We rode hard and we were able to clear the ball,” MacRobbie said. “We just didn’t do it consistently and for the whole 60 minutes.”
If you want to reach Eliav, you can contact him on Twitter @eliavgabay or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org