RPI Update: Lacrosse Moves Up to 27
TEMPE, Ariz. – The NCAA released the second edition of the Women's Lacrosse RPI rankings, one of the criteria considered for postseason play.
Sun Devil Lacrosse came in at No. 27 in the second edition of the NCAA RPI, moving up one spot after splitting their weekend series with the Bay Area schools. It has been a groundbreaking year for lacrosse in the desert, with Arizona State earning the first ranking in a major national poll back in March and now reaching the highest RPI mark in the program's brief history.
The NCAA Championship provides for a field of 29 teams to compete in a single-elimination tournament. Sixteen conference champions qualify automatically, with the rest of the field is selected at-large by the NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Committee. The bracket will be announced on May 9, 2021, with the first round beginning May 14.
The Sun Devils are off to a program-best 8-4 overall record and 5-3 start in Pac-12 Conference play. Coach McCormack has quickly established an identity of playing Sun Devil Lacrosse for a full 60 minutes, a formula that has led to some incredible statistical achievements. There is a reason U.S. Lacrosse Magazine recently identified ASU as a program on the rise. Here is a closer look at how Arizona State got to No. 27 in the second edition of the RPI:
- The eight wins this season are already the most in a single-season, as Coach McCormack moves to 13-7 as the Head Coach (12-24 in the previous two seasons).
- The Maroon & Gold rank in the Top-10 nationally in assists/game (4th), scoring offense (6th), and draw controls/game (9th).
- The Sun Devils are currently tied for second in the Pac-12 Conference standings. A win over USC on Friday would give them a shot at the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. They have never finished higher than fifth in the regular season.
- Arizona State enjoyed a five-game win streak earlier in the season, the longest in school history (previous long was 3). They outscored opponents 94-51 during that span.
- Arizona State has had 12 individuals receive the top weekly conference honor in Head Coach Tim McCormack's two seasons, including nine this season. Sun Devils had previously only winning the award three times over the two prior seasons.
- ASU is 3-0 against teams in the 40-75 range of the RPI. They are undefeated against opponent's higher than 40 in the RPI, with no bad losses on their resume.
- The program picked up its first-ever victories over Colorado and USC in Coach McCormack's first matchup with the Pac-12 powers. ASU had previously been outscored by the Buffaloes 62-15 in four all-time matchups and USC had an 83-25 advantage in five previous meetings under the previous staff.
- The Sun Devils also earned a season sweep of Cal, the second time that ASU has swept a conference opponent (previous was Oregon in 2019).
- Fans at Sun Devil Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium have been treated to brilliant lacrosse, as ASU is 6-1 at home in 2021, outscoring opponents by a total score of 130-76.
- The Sun Devils have scored 16+ goals in 14 of the 20 games under Coach McCormack. Prior to his arrival, the program reached the mark just four times in 36 games.
- Arizona State snapped USC's eight-game home winning streak earlier in the season.
- The 11-goal victory USC's largest margin of defeat to a Pac-12 opponent.
- The 20 goals matched the most that USC had allowed in a game ever, a total reached by No. 2-ranked Boston College in the 2017 NCAA Quarterfinals.
- The loss to Arizona State was the first time USC lost to an unranked opponent since an 18-11 loss to Oregon (April 8, 2018) but that was on the road – it was the first time USC fell to an unranked foe at home since April 18, 2014 (a 10-8 loss to Oregon) when USC was also unranked. Meaning the Maroon & Gold became the first unranked team to beat a ranked Trojans' squad at home.
- This year, the Sun Devils forced a running clock midway through the second half in the two sides first meeting of 2021, only the second time that an opponent had accomplished that feat against the Trojans at McAlister Field.
- The only other team to achieve a double-digit lead in a road matchup with USC was Northwestern way back in the Trojans' first game as a program in 2013.
- USC has had running clock on it only two other times
- Apr. 8, 2018 – at Oregon
- Feb. 23, 2021 – at Stony Brook
Another Pac-12 showdown looms as the Sun Devils finish the regular season next weekend. First up, they will honor a legendary senior class after taking on USC on Friday, April 23 at 3 pm. In the first meeting between the two sides, the Sun Devils cruised to a 20-9 victory, their first in program history over USC. The implications for the Pac-12 Conference standings and Pac-12 Conference Tournament seeding are substantial, as both teams will enter with a 5-3 conference record. Catch the action via the live stream at the following link, or follow along via live stats here.
*There has been an update in the Sun Devil Athletics fan attendance policy. For some of our smaller Olympic sport venues, student-athlete family and guest tickets remain the priority and we will accommodate additional fans the day of if we are not already at capacity.
ASU has a quick turnaround as they will immediately head to Southern California for a rematch with San Diego State. The 1 pm contest is scheduled for Sunday, April 25 with a live stream available here and live stats at the following link. The Sun Devils opened the season with a 23-10 win over San Diego State at home, and will now return the trip to San Diego where they lost a thrilling 19-18 game in 2020.
HOW TO FOLLOW
We will be honoring our senior class all week long on our social media channels. Follow our Twitter and Instagram accounts (@SunDevilWLax) and like our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sundevilwlax/). Visit our website, TheSunDevils.com, for the latest updates and information on the program.