Lacrosse Shows Progress in Setback at Northwestern
EVANSTON, Ill. – Sun Devil Lacrosse wrapped up the two-game road trip with a 16-8 loss to No. 5 Northwestern Sunday afternoon at Ryan Fieldhouse.
Back in 2020 in his first season in charge of Sun Devil Lacrosse, Head Coach Tim McCormack's team went into Ryan Fieldhouse to face a Northwestern team that was ranked No. 3 in the nation. Arizona State showed flashes that day of what was to come in the future, but ultimately fell to the Wildcats 28-12.
Fast forward two years later and the progress of Sun Devil Lacrosse is evident in what took place today. Arizona State played a Top-5 Northwestern team on the road again, but this time held their own, before eventually dropping a hard fought 16-8 game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Arizona State came to play in a tough environment on the second leg of their Midwest road trip, matching one of the nation's best team throughout the first quarter. The two teams were knotted up at three after the first 15 minutes, with the Sun Devils handling the pressure.
A tightly contested second quarter developed in which Katie Vahle made several crucial saves to prevent Northwestern from building a big lead. The Wildcats would take a 6-4 advantage into the break, with ASU's defense creating problems for Northwestern's potent offense.
The pace slowed down in the third quarter, as both teams attempted to implement adjustments. The two teams combined for only three total goals in the period, with Arizona State well within striking distance trailing 8-5 heading into the fourth.
The effects of a long and challenging road trip started to set in, as Northwestern controlled the action in the fourth. The No. 5 team in the country scored eight goals to take a commanding lead, but there was no quit in the Sun Devils. A pair of goals by Emily Munro and one from Maddy Hunter pulled the Maroon & Gold back within six, but the Wildcats finished off a 16-8 win.
Arizona State ended up shorthanded early in the game, as both starters Carley Adams and Gigi Gaspar fouled out of the game in the first quarter after receiving two yellow cards. The Maroon & Gold were unfazed, battling through the adversity to compete with the nation's No. 5 team. In the moments after losing two of their best players, ASU showed poise in keeping the game tied heading into the second quarter.
- Arizona State held the 2021 national leader in scoring offense to only six goals at halftime, the fewest they had at the half at home since scoring five against Michigan on April 9, 2019.
- Fewest goals scored at home by Northwestern since scoring 11 against No. 7 Syracuse back on Feb. 22, 2020
- Fewest goals scored at home by Northwestern against an unranked team at home since March 30, 2017 against Johns Hopkins (10 goals).
- The eight-goal margin of victory at home by Northwestern is the smallest against an unranked team in the non-conference since they defeated Canisius 9-7 back on Jan. 30, 2017.
- Emily Glagolev dished out three assists, the 19th time in her career she has accomplished that feat in a game.
- She now has 114 career assists in 61 career games.
- In her first 11 career games, Katie Brodsky compiled 11 goals and five assists (16 points). In the 18 games since, she has 35 goals and 24 assists (59 points) after scoring two goals today.
- Emily Munro recorded her seventh multi-goal game as a Sun Devil.
"We fought hard this weekend as a group," Coach McCormack remarked. "These games will pay off for us as we continue in our season. We look forward to another week of practice together and continuing to get better."
"It was great to see our defense effort when Gigi fouled out," Coach McCormack added. "Olivia Kroah stepped in and played tough. Mina Scott got some great experience today after Carley fouled out as well."
"It was exciting to see my former teammates and coaches," Northwestern transfer Taylor Pinzone reflected. "It was disappointed that we feel short, but we fought and competed hard and learned a lot. Excited for whats to come next for us!"
Despite the long and circuitous journey to get to Sunday's game, Arizona State came out ready to play. Sun Devils struck first with a goal courtesy of Carley Adams, converting off a feed from Emily Glagolev. Katie Brodsky carried over her scoring touch from the previous game, scoring the next two Sun Devil goals to give her five on the season. Northwestern answered back each time, keeping the game tight throughout the quarter. ASU lost the services of Carley Adams and Gigi Gaspar early in the contest due to yellow cards. Despite the sudden personnel changes for ASU, the teams finished the first 15 minutes tied at three.
Northwestern started the second quarter with a bit of a spurt, scoring the first two goals of the period. However, the Wildcats had to make lineup adjustments of their own All-American Lauren Gilbert received her second yellow card and had to exit the game. Maria Villanti stopped a 3-0 Northwestern run with her first goal of the season, pulling ASU back within one goal. The Wildcats responded with a goal and were looking to extend their lead to three, but Katie Vahle made a timely save to keep the score 6-4. Both teams exchange scoring chances and turnovers to finish out the half, with Northwestern entering the break leading 6-4.
After nearly eight minutes of scoreless lacrosse, Emily Glagolev broke the ice in the second half, pulling ASU within one thanks to a goal. ASU held Northwestern without a goal for the first 8:24 of the second half, keeping them within striking distance. A couple crucial Katie Vahle saves prevented any further damage, as she shut down a free-position attempt with the Sun Devils down three. A low-scoring, defensive quarter came to a close with only three goals scored, as ASU trailed 8-5.
On the back end of a grueling and challenging road trip which saw them face off with their second straight Top-10 team, Arizona State was unable to maintain the pace of the first three quarters. Northwestern accounted for the first five goals of the quarter, extending their lead to 13-5. Emily Munro broke the Northwestern run with a pair of goals, pulling ASU back within six goals. Maddy Hunter also got on the board in the fourth, giving the Sun Devils their eighth goal. The Wildcats tacked on a couple goals late to take the 16-8 victory.
Arizona State will return to Tempe for their home opener, which is scheduled for Friday, February 25 at 11 AM MST. The Sun Devils will take on San Diego State at Sun Devil Lacrosse Stadium, who they swept in a two-game series last season. The game will be broadcasted live via the ASU Stream Team at the following link. Track the game via live stats, which can be found here.
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