In a rivalry matchup that saw both teams fired up and wild the entire game, Chapman University beat ASU 8-7 in sudden-death overtime Friday night.
The game was a fierce contest the entire way but midfielder AJ Rafter ultimately gave Chapman the win when he ran toward the right side of the field and flung a shot past Preston Anderson and into the net to end the game.
Rafter was clearly joyful after the game joking around with his teammates; however he was still quite modest about the sudden death goal.
“Felt great, I guess it still hasn’t hit me yet, something I always wanted to do,” said Rafter about the goal.
The matchup between ASU and Chapman escalated into a battle of back and forth lacrosse once the game moved into the fourth quarter. Chapman collected an early fourth quarter goal to tie the game at 5-5 on a long shot from Ryan Hellmich and it was mayhem from there on out.
Not long after Hellmich tied the game, Payson Clark scored his third and final goal of the night to put the Sun Devils back ahead 6-5.
After some time, Matt Welch responded with a goal of his own for Chapman to once again tie the game at 6-6.
ASU replied to Chapman’s efforts one more time with a goal courtesy of Dan Davis, with both sidelines at this point of the game ready to explode.
With the game then at 7-6 , Chapman scored the equalizer with just minutes remaining in the game.
After a crazy last minute and a half that saw turnovers by both teams that had a chance to go ahead before regulation ended, no goal struck the back of the net and the game proceeded to OT.
Chapman’s victory is a testament to their resiliency, as the Panthers were down 5-2 at halftime in this low scoring game but did stop battling back.
“We just really calmed down at halftime. They had three man-up goals, and the refs were calling it tight and we had to adjust,” said Chapman head coach Dallas Hartley. “It was just staying positive, making sure we just run the systems, and make sure we put our athletes in position to make plays.”
For ASU, this defeat is not only at the hands of their division rival, but it is also their first loss of the season.
“It’s a wake-up call for the entire team. We didn’t play as well as we would’ve liked in Minnesota, and we didn’t play as well as we would’ve liked tonight,” ASU head coach Chris Malone said. “[The Chapman Panthers] were just the hungrier team tonight.”
ASU lacrosse will have a chance to get back into the win column Sunday, March 10 against Richmond University.