(Photo: Katherine Fitzgerald/WCSN)
With 20 new freshman added to the No. 3 Arizona State Lacrosse roster, every newcomer is trying to prove himself to get playing time on this team.
Like any team, there are going to be new recruits coming in and everyone is going to be fighting for a spot. The ones who do get playing time are the ones who are straight to business. Teams frequently will have that one newcomer who just stands out in the crowd. Freshman attackman Jake Marthens is that player for the Sun Devils.
“The attack is going to be the strongest part of our team,” senior attackman Finn Wells said. “Jake, Rhett (Rodgers) and I really come together. Jake’s been scoring a lot and all the freshmen look up to him, he’s kind of like the king freshman.”
Marthens is out of Rancho Santa Margarita, California, and has the mindset of doing what he can to perform well.
“(I’ve) got to go full speed every drill,” Marthens said. “(I need to) stay on top of my stick work off the field and just come prepared every day.”
Marthens has not only impressed Wells but has left a good impression on new head coach Todd MacRobbie. MacRobbie’s main strategy is to bring in freshmen who can play right away and Marthens fits the criteria.
“He was recruited because he can play,” Macrobbie said. “He’ll probably start right away and contribute right away and be a player that a lot of people take notice to as a freshman.”
The attack of Arizona State has been focused on fast scoring and efficiency.
The three starters from last year’s team combined for 92 total goals. Both Wells and junior attackman Rhett Rodgers will be returning this year for the Sun Devils and expect the attack to have great chemistry once again this season.
“We’re definitely meshing a lot better than I thought we would already,” Marthens said.
The chemistry has definitely shown as Marthens has made an early impact in the offense this season. Marthens has notched two goals and one assist through the first two games.
Freshman midfielder Nolan Waniorek is another freshman standout for the Sun Devils. The midfielder out of Wales, Wisconsin, has done a lot for this program and MacRobbie has been pleased with his performance.
“Since I’ve taken over he’s shown me a lot,” MacRobbie said.
Waniorek put together an impressive stat line at Kettle Moraine High School. During his senior year, he raked in 107 total points (58 goals and 49 assists) in 23 games.
“The mentality is just to work hard everyday,” Waniorek said. “Whether it is in the weight room or on the field.”
The individual efforts of Waniorek and Marthens have been noticeable to the team, but the team atmosphere is something that the two have really taken notice to.
After every practice, the team breaks the huddle shouting out “family.” This family attitude has been instilled in every freshman.
“The team has been very welcoming to me,” Waniorek said. “Everyone’s been helping me out a lot.”
Like Waniorek, Marthens has experienced the same welcoming atmosphere within the program.
“It’s been awesome so far,” Marthens said, “I feel like I’m part of the family already.”
This family attitude has been introduced to many of the freshmen and all of them agree, this is a brotherhood.
“All of the guys give me a lot of advice and help me out,” said freshmen Cole Campbell. “If it’s like school or like practice or just anything in general I got a lot of support.”
The standout freshmen have blended well with the returners and expect a lot of chemistry from teammates. This large freshman recruitment class could be potentially the best one that has ever been seen.
If you have any questions or comments, you can contact Blaine McCormick via twitter @blaine_mc8 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org