Arizona State lacrosse has started the season off on the right track, rolling to a 14-8 victory over the California Golden Bears. Justin Straker and Payson Clark each posted four goals, but it was the play of one freshman that led the Sun Devils.
Despite the preseason confidence that had been instilled in starting goaltender Brandon Propp, he was removed from the game midway through the third quarter as freshman goalie Preston Andersen was sent in for relief.
Propp had just allowed his seventh goal of the match to make it a one goal difference at 8-7, on one of many great plays from Sean Hayden and the Bears.
“I was excited to play. Things didn’t go my way…I wasn’t playing that well, and Preston Andersen stepped it up big time. Good for that kid,” Propp said.
From there, it was all Preston Andersen, who allowed only one goal in over 20 minutes of game time.
In that same span, the Sun Devil offense broke away from the Bears with four unanswered goals in the fourth quarter that won it. All of those fourth quarter goals came from ASU’s three starting attackmen: Clark, Straker, and Dan Davis.
“We’re building off of last season. Same three attackmen starting from last year, so we already have that chemistry and rhythm going.” Clark said. The team captain had four goals total on the day.
Coach Chris Malone was also pleased with the offensive tandem.
“You can’t teach chemistry. That develops over time. [Clark, Straker, Davis] have great chemistry, they’ve been playing over time, they communicate and help each other out. I’m not surprised,” Malone said.
The game started out quickly for ASU’s offense, who leaped out to a 3-1 lead from three different scorers (Straker, Clark, Kyle Denis). However, Cal stormed back and scored four consecutive goals to find themselves with their first lead early in the second quarter.
The new, quick pace of the game worked in the Sun Devils’ favor from there on, though, as they would also go on a 4-0 run to take a 7-4 halftime lead that they would never relinquish as they marched on to the final score of 14-8. The only real scare came at the 8-7 mark, when the goalie change was made.
Arizona State will face off against the San Diego State Aztecs on Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will be live-tweeted by @CronkiteSports.
GOALS: Clark, Straker (4 goals each); Denis, Davis, Pickell (2 goals each)
GOALIES: Brandon Propp (7 goals allowed, 40 mins); Preston Andersen (1 goal allowed, 20 mins)