Lacrosse Nearly Pulls off Upset after Marathon Trip
PONTIAC, Mich. - Sun Devil Lacrosse went wire-to-wire in their season opener on the road at Michigan, falling 11-9 late Friday evening.
Following several hours of travel delays on Thursday evening that bled into Friday morning, Arizona State embarked on a five-hour bus ride on gameday to eventually get to UWM Sports Complex. Despite the unusual circumstances and the game starting at 10:30 pm local time, Head Coach Tim McCormack's team nearly knocked off the No. 11 team in the nation.
"Great team effort tonight that came up short in the end," Coach McCormack remarked. "Defense played tough for 60 minutes which was a positive for us. We are looking forward to being together again tomorrow for practice."
In the program's first-ever opener against a Top-25 team, the Sun Devils more than held their own, giving themselves a chance to win until the final whistle. The game was tied at four at halftime and once again at six heading into the fourth quarter, with a late surge pushing the Wolverines over the top.
There were many bright spots throughout the game, including the play of freshman goalkeeper Katie Vahle. She made her Sun Devil debut in style, saving nine shots, collecting two ground balls, and causing a turnover.
"Katie Vahle was great all night in her first game," Coach McCormack observed. "She saw the ball well and was solid in the clearing game. She played with a ton of confidence."
For Vahle, the moment wasn't about her performance, but about finally getting the chance to compete with her teammates.
"Getting out there with everyone for the first time I was filled with nerves and excitement," Vahle reflected. "We definitely were able to hang with Michigan and I am really proud of my team and how we powered through the obstacles so far on our journey."
A pair of Sun Devils ended up with hat tricks, including graduate transfer Taylor Pinzone. She wasted no time making an impact as a Sun Devil, scoring three goals including the first goal of the 2022 season.
"Taylor Pinzone brought a great edge and was tough," Coach McCormack added. "She competed in every aspect. It was good for her to get her first game under her belt as a Sun Devil."
Katie Brodsky joined Pinzone in registering a hat trick, the third of her career. In her first 11 games, Brodsky compiled 11 goals and five assists (16 points). In the 17 games since, she has 33 goals and 24 assists (57 points).
Carley Adams was up to her old tricks, starting her season with a multi-goal effort. It is the eighth straight game she has had two or more goals dating back to last season, accomplishing the feat now 24 times in her illustrious career. Emily Glagolev also had a multi-point game, finishing with a goal and an assist.
Arizona State held their own in the draw control battle (13-11, MICH) thanks in large part to the efforts of Zoe Mazur, who collected six draw controls in her first shot as the main draw control specialist. Lia Willis and Mallory Martel were two of four Sun Devils to collect two ground balls and two of five to force a Wolverine turnover.
The Maroon & Gold answered two Michigan goals with a goal of their own, before giving up one more to end the first quarter trailing 3-1. ASU controlled the action in the second quarter, outscoring the hosts 3-1 thanks to a pair of Carley Adams goals. The two sides exchanged goals during a evenly-matched third quarter, with the score even at six heading into the final frame. Despite two late Katie Brodsky goals, the Sun Devils could not complete the upset, falling 11-9.
It is a quick turnaround for the Sun Devils, who immediately head back on the road to take on No. 5 Northwestern on Sunday. Coach McCormack returns to Evanston for the second time since leaving his post as Northwestern Assistant Coach to take over at Arizona State. The second meeting between the two programs is an 11 AM MST game that will be held at Ryan Field.
HOW TO FOLLOW
The Northwestern game will be streamed live on Big Ten Plus, with live stats found here. For in-game updates, follow our Twitter and Instagram accounts (@SunDevilWLax). Like our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sundevilwlax/) for content throughout the season. Visit our website, TheSunDevils.com, for the latest updates and information on the program.