This weekend, the Sun Devils continue their march toward a title with back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. Tonight, Arizona State will take on the Florida Gators of the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference.
Despite holding a 1-0 record in conference play, the Gators have struggled mightily this season and stand at 1-4 overall.
In their five games, the Gators have scored just 34 goals and they have yet to play a ranked opponent.
However unlikely, an upset is not completely out of the question. Florida features a balanced attack and 11 different players have scored goals this year including senior attackman CJ Casselli who has notched a team-high eight goals.
Perhaps more importantly, goalie Matt Rivers is a four-year veteran and over his past 19 career games, he’s averaged more than 14 saves per game.
If the Gators want any chance at shocking the Sun Devils, they’ll need a superior effort from Rivers and a sizeable advantage in time of possession.
The Sun Devils feature a quick-strike attack with a first line of Payson Clark, Justin Straker and Dan Davis that has combined for 78 goals already this season.
Furthermore, the second and third lines of offense have proven to be just as dangerous in recent games, as new faces such as Jackson Brown and Adam Beauchamp have shown that the future looks bright.
If all goes well, Arizona State will take an early advantage against the Gators and allow coach Chris Malone to utilize many of the reserve players who have made more frequent appearances as of late.
The Sun Devils should have no problem putting away the Gators and resting up for Saturday’s matchup with Utah, but they’ll have to prevent the madness of March from creeping onto the lacrosse field.
After more than half a season of play, the MCLA is taking shape and the No. 4 Arizona State Sun Devils have discovered their toughest source of competition: themselves.
The Sun Devils hold an 8-1 record through their first nine games, but their last weekend of play helps put their goal of winning an MCLA National Championship in perspective.
Last weekend, Arizona State faced off against three opponents, including the No. 6 BYU Cougars. The Sun Devils played some of their most dominant lacrosse of the season and recorded three convincing victories including a 12-7 demolition of BYU.
Payson Clark and company dominated the Cougars so thoroughly that it’s simply impossible to imagine the Sun Devils losing a game in which they play their best lacrosse.
In the three games last weekend, Arizona State outscored its competition 50-22 and left no doubt about the team’s capabilities moving forward.