(Photo: Jacob Franklin/WCSN)
After going 1-1 in its weekend in Georgia, The Arizona State men’s club lacrosse team will return home and square off with two top ten teams with match-ups against No. 7 Colorado State and No. 3 Colorado two days later.
“I think playing non conference games against quality opponents is really important,” head coach Todd MacRobbie said.“You don’t want an easy non conference schedule. It’s just sets you up down the road for some failures, especially in a tough conference like the SLC you want to play these tough games before you even get to the conference so that way when you get to the conference, you’re ready for it, it’s a little bit better for you.”
In the last decade Colorado State and Colorado have proven to be prominent programs in the MCLA with four National Championships out of seven appearances. Both these teams finished on the top of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference last season.
Currently ranked at seventh in the 2017 MCLA Coaches Poll the Colorado State Rams will be a tough opponent for the Sun Devils. Head Coach Ted Fifield is now at his second season for the Rams.
In CSU’s only game this season senior attackman Ashton Monheiser scored 5 goals, and junior face-off specialist man Adam Chamberlin won 85% of his faceoffs in a 18-7 blowout over Dominican.
Other threats for the rams include 2016 All-American senior defenseman Alec Gieser and 2016 2nd Team All-Conference senior attackman Brian Taggart.
The Sun Devils ended Colorado State’s season last year beating them 8-7 in first round of the MCLA tournament.
In the Colorado Buffalos first and only game of the season Head Coach John Galvin recorded his 90th win as they crushed Dominican 22-13. 2016 All-Conference junior attackman Ben Wharton scored four goals and junior attackman John Roach scored a hat trick.
The Sun Devils young defensive unit and experienced attack group is going to have to sell out if they want to beat Colorado. The Buffalos are headlined by senior All-Americans Jake Gonzalez in the midfield and defender Pen Lukens.
“The tough part is the differences and hopefully these guys don’t confuse the two,” MacRobbie said. “Hopefully they take the scouting report that we give to them, and they’re reading it so that way they can prepare right away for it.”
Junior midfielder Ben Parietti commented on what the offense is working on to improve.
“We are working on moving off ball a lot more,” Parietti said. “Trying to pick press out a little bit so we can create space.”
However, the defense is putting in the same amount of work in preparation of the tough weekend.
“The defense is just doing what the defense does,” MacRobbie said. “We’re giving up too many shots, so we’ve been working on that. We just gotta make a couple more adjustments on our communication inside and I think that if they go out and apply what we’ve been teaching them all year we’ll be fine. It’s the same philosophies. We gotta go out out and execute.”
As the Sun Devils looks to avoid a 1-3 start to the young season the CSU Rams seek revenge. First faceoff is 7:00 p.m. MST on Thursday.