(Photo: Jacob Franklin/WCSN)
A year ago, Ben Parietti was playing men’s league lacrosse with “a bunch of old guys”.
Last Sunday, the Arizona State men’s club lacrosse midfielder was scoring a hat trick for the No. 14 Sun Devils in their 12-7 win over Georgia.
In just three games, the Sacramento, California, native has become one of ASU’s most productive offensive weapons, fulfilling the role he has spent the last three years looking for.
A U.S. Lacrosse All-American and Sacramento Valley Lacrosse Conference MVP during his senior year at Jesuit High School in Sacramento, Parietti committed to the University of Richmond, an NCAA Division I lacrosse program, after graduation.
“I had always wanted to play division one lacrosse,” Parietti remembered, stripping out of his gear after one of the Sun Devils’ practices.
Despite making seven appearances and two starts for the Spiders in his freshman year, Parietti decided to transfer, due in large part to the role he was playing on his new team.
“I ended up just being a face-off guy,” Parietti said. “After my freshman year I wanted to come back home. I wanted to actually start playing lacrosse again instead of just doing faceoffs.”
Parietti transferred to Folsom Lake College for his sophomore year, a community college in northern California near his hometown. However, he never quit on his dream of playing collegiate lacrosse and kept sharpening his skills in a local men’s league.
Last summer, Parietti was ready to transfer again, this time finding a perfect fit in ASU.
“The main reason (for transferring to ASU) is I wanted to do industrial engineering as my major,” Parietti said. “And their lacrosse reputation.”
After this season’s first three games, Parietti is making his decision pay off. Playing in a dynamic midfield position, the 5-foot-8-inch transfer has quarterbacked many of ASU’s offensive possessions from the top of the box while also pitching in defensively and in transition.
“I think Ben has been a tremendous asset,” Sun Devils head coach Todd MacRobbie said. “Offensively, defensively, clearing the ball, transition on defense, everything. He’s a phenomenal player.”
Parietti’s hard work is paying off on the stat sheet as well; his four goals are second most on the team, while his five points overall are good for third most among the Sun Devils.
Much of Parietti’s success so far this year has a lot to do with his different collegiate experiences. During his different stops around the nation over the last three years, he has continued to grow and develop his game.
“My lacrosse IQ has grown a lot more,” Parietti said. “Just going from high school to college, I learned how to play a lot faster because college is a faster game.”
While his journey to Tempe may be different than most of his teammates, Parietti has taken no time to adapt to both his engineering major and to his responsibilities of engineering the Sun Devil’s offense.
“You can see why he was recruited to play division one,” MacRobbie said. “We are lucky that he wanted to become an engineer and come here.”