Arizona State’s men’s lacrosse team will play their first divisional foe on Sunday, as they stay in southern California to take on the San Diego State Aztecs.
Now entering the back end of a four-game home stand, the Aztecs (2-1) will host the Devils (1-0), who they’ve never beaten in six all-time games against each other. In fact, Arizona State has beaten San Diego State by an average of 13.7 goals in each game.
It won’t be an easy trend to break. On Saturday ASU kicked off its season with a victory, as they defeated the no. 15 Cal Golden Bears convincingly. Their attention now turns to SDSU, whose schedule has been a cake walk so far, against sub-par teams with a combined record of 4-5.
It’s been three years since the Aztecs have seen their third win come in the month of February. During that same span, the Sun Devils have been the exact opposite, recording three or more opening-month wins every one of those years.
For Arizona State, the big question mark will be the play in net. In Saturday’s game against Cal, starter Brandon Propp was pulled after suffering his seventh goal, and freshman Preston Andersen took the game by storm from there. He only allowed one goal in over 20 minutes of playing time.
SDSU will look to take advantage of being overlooked, as their game is sandwiched between match-ups with the no. 15 team and the no. 5 team on ASU’s schedule. The Aztecs have recorded an average of 13.3 goals per game this year, clearly meshing well with the new quick-whistle hustle and bustle of MCLA play.
So far, freshman Jack Vonarb, the 6’3”, 195 lbs attackmen, has been their star player. He has scored ten goals in their three games. If the team wants a chance to overwhelm the Sun Devils, it’s going to fall on the shoulders of the first-year player.
Match-up To Watch
Ryan Eberspacher (FOS) vs Zack Handy (FOS)
The two face-off specialists will be intriguing to watch all game on Sunday. They are both sophomores, but their roles on their respective teams couldn’t be more different. While Handy has worked on his offensive game over the offseason, he is still going to focus his gameplay on ball control and winning draws. Eberspacher, on the other hand, is among SDSU’s best offensive threats. He’s tallied eight points already on the season. Look for him to quickly get off the draw and into the box. That is, if he’s able to beat out Handy in the circle.