Pac-12 Lacrosse Tournament Preview
TEMPE, Ariz. – Sun Devil Lacrosse begins postseason play on Wednesday, heading to Stanford for the 2021 Pac-12 Lacrosse Tournament taking place May 5-8.
Arizona State (9-5, 5-4) earned the fourth seed after securing the highest finish in program history, pitting them against the fifth-seeded California Golden Bears. The sole first round matchup will take place on Wednesday, May 5 at 4 pm MST at Stanford Stadium, home of the Stanford Lacrosse and Football programs. All Pac-12 Lacrosse Tournament games will air on the Pac-12 Network, with more information on how to watch available here.
This is the third time the Sun Devils will matchup with California this season, previously defeating them in both contest by a combined score of 31-18. It is the first season sweep for Arizona State over the Golden Bears, as Coach McCormack has now won his first three games against Cal. ASU returns to Stanford Stadium where they played on March 12th, suffering a narrow loss to No. 21 Stanford.
Should the Sun Devils prevail in the first-round matchup, it would be their first Pac-12 Lacrosse Tournament victory. It also sets up a showdown with host No. 12 Stanford in the semifinal round on Thursday, May 6 at 4 pm MST. The other semifinal is set, with No. 2 seed USC taking on No. 3 seed Colorado at 7:30 pm MST on Thursday. The tournament final is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 at 12 pm MST. More information on the schedule and attendance policies can be found at the following link.
KNOW YOUR FOES
California earned the fifth seed after finishing the season 2-15, going 0-10 in Pac-12 Conference play. The two sides have matched up twice already this season, with the Sun Devils winning both games. The Golden Bears have remained extremely competitive, losing nine games by five goals or less, including a 11-7 loss in Tempe on April 18.
In the 2019 Pac-12 Lacrosse Tournament, Arizona State and Cal matched up in the four-five game, with the Golden Bears prevailing. This year's California team is led by All-Conference candidate Lizabanks Campagna, who is the backbone of the defensive unit. Marisa Kuberra and Nikki Zaccaro lead the offense, each recording 35 points in 17 games. Goalkeepers Riley Drullinger and Lily Rathbun have split time in net, with the Sun Devils seeing both in the previous two matchups this season.
The first meeting saw ASU pick up a 21-11 victory to earn their first Pac-12 Conference win of the season back on March 14. Behind the strength of a 14-2 run, Arizona State overwhelmed the Golden Bears defense with a variety of offensive threats. Berkeley Bonneau and the Sun Devil defense allowed only one Cal goal in a 26-minute stretch, helping Coach McCormack's squad establish a lead they would never relinquish.
On April 18 in the second matchup, the Sun Devils allowed seven goals, with only two coming over the final 28 minutes of the game. Head Coach Tim McCormack's team scored six of the final seven goals to take control of the game and earn their third straight win over the Golden Bears.
The team was led by Gigi Gaspar, Bella Gaspar, Sydney Payne, Olivia Hood, and Mallory Martel, who each executed their role perfectly allowing the Sun Devil defense to lockdown the opposing attack. Cal committed 21 total turnovers, 10 of which were forced by the aggressiveness and hustle of the defensive unit.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
"Maura was dialed in from the first whistle today. She competed hard for 60 minutes. Getting 17 draw controls as a team is an accomplishment, to do it as an individual is incredible," Coach McCormack remarked in reference to Maura Cissel's school record 17 draw controls against SDSU.
"Her communication was awesome all day as well, she was able to set our circle girls up for success on the ones she didn't get herself," Coach McCormack added. "She's been working hard all year on the craft and to have today's success is a great reflection of that. We are all excited for our next opportunity to be on the field together."
"It was awesome being on the field with the team," Goalkeeper Lindsey Spies reflected after her first collegiate win. "Genuinely one of the best feelings and the support from my teammates and coaches is unmatched. They give me the confidence to go out there and show out for everyone. Today's win was a team effort and these girls make me want to work harder every day. I'm looking forward to what the rest of this season brings with this squad."
"It was a good weekend for Kerri (Clayton) and she played a complete game," Coach McCormack remarked. "She has been working hard to finish her career strong and is doing exactly that."
"That might be one of the most improved parts of her game since I have been here," Coach McCormack observed about Clayton's career-high 24 assists this season. "She has continued to execute the offense and makes great decisions."
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Kerri Clayton is making the most of her final season in Tempe, putting together an incredible finish to her illustrious career. Clayton was unstoppable in two games last weekend, compiling 10 goals and five assists (15 points). She became the first Sun Devil to reach 200 career points in the process.
In the win over San Diego State, she scored from all different angles, helping the Sun Devils seal a victory with a second half surge. She had five goals in both games this weekend, giving her 5+ goals for the 12th time in her career.
Clayton isn't just a goal scorer, as she continues to get her teammates involved. She had at least seven points in both games, the third time in the past four games she has reached that mark. She now has a career-best 24 helpers this season, with seven multi-assist performances.
She is one of three Sun Devils to have already reached 60 points in 14 games. Clayton's impact extends beyond the offensive end, as she collected three ground balls and caused two turnovers.
SUN DEVILS TO WIN PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (16)
Kerri Clayton (4/26/21) – Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
Olivia Hood (4/19/21) – Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week
Emily Glagolev (3/29/21) – Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
Kerri Clayton (3/23/21) – Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
Berkeley Bonneau (3/23/21) – Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week
Kerri Clayton (3/15/21) – Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
Berkeley Bonneau (3/15/21) – Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week
Carley Adams (3/8/21) – Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
Berkeley Bonneau (2/23/21) – Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week
Carley Adams (2/23/21) – Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
Kerri Clayton (3/2/20) – Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
Berkeley Bonneau (3/2/20) – Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week
Emily Glagolev (2/17/20) – Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
Emily Glagolev (4/22/19) – Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
Kerri Clayton (4/8/19) – Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
Kaylon Buckner (2/12/19) – Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week
LAST TIME OUT
Sun Devil Lacrosse defeated San Diego State on the road, 20-11, to wrap up the regular season on Sunday, April 25th.
The victory gave Arizona State (9-5, 5-4) the sweep of the season series with San Diego State, outscoring them 43-21 in two games. The Sun Devils picked up their first win at Aztec Lacrosse Stadium in three tries, losing each of the previous two games by one goal.
The Sun Devil attack was unstoppable, led by the usual cast of characters. Carley Adams and Kerri Clayton each finished with five goals and two assists, forming a dynamic duo that caused San Diego State trouble all game. Emily Glagolev finished with five assists, orchestrating the offense at a high level. Katie Brodsky was the fourth Sun Devil to record four or more points, as the attacking unit came through in a big way.
Sophomore goalkeeper Lindsey Spies earned her first collegiate start and was fantastic, with her quickness and instincts on full display. Spies finished with nine saves and earned her first career win, allowing only four second half goals.
Maura Cissel and the draw control unit were flat out dominant, creating the biggest difference in the game. Arizona State had a 27-6 advantage in the draw control category, allowing them to control the tempo and pace of the game. Cissel shattered her own single-game program record of 12 draw controls, finishing with 17 during an incredible afternoon.
The Sun Devils played well in all facets of the game, ending the regular season on a high note. Returning to California where they played prep lacrosse, Kylie Kroeger, Sydney Payne, Tess Keiser, and Campbell Poe all saw action and made contributions in the win.
HOW TO FOLLOW
All four games will be featured live on Pac-12 Networks and the Pac-12 Now App. Here is more information on how to watch. 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.