Lacrosse Hosts Oregon and Colorado to Open Pac-12 Play
TEMPE, Ariz. – Sun Devil Lacrosse begins Pac-12 Conference play by hosting Oregon and Colorado at Sun Devil Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium.
Arizona State starts the weekend with an 4 PM match up on Friday, Mar. 11 against Oregon. The game against the Ducks will be broadcasted via the ASU Live Stream, with live stats also available. Two days later, Arizona State makes their Pac-12 Network debut when No. 23 Colorado comes to Tempe for an 11 AM showdown on Sunday, Mar. 13. For more information on how to watch on Pac-12 Networks, visit the following link, with live stats provided here. Don't miss out on two more chances to check out the 2022 Sun Devil Lacrosse team at home. Under Head Coach Tim McCormack, Arizona State is 10-3 overall and has outscored opponents 215-132 at home.
LAST TIME OUT
Sun Devil Lacrosse defeated San Diego State to open up their home slate back on February 25 at Sun Devil Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium. Arizona State took an early lead just 33 seconds into the game and never looked back, cruising to a 16-6 victory to move to 1-2 on the season. Ten different Sun Devils scored a goal, as the Maroon & Gold featured a balanced offensive attack. The defensive effort was equally as impressive, as the unit held San Diego State to only six goals, while forcing them into committing 20 turnovers. The draw control unit was extremely effective, giving the home team a 19-7 advantage in the key category.
Goalkeeper Katie Vahle teammed up with the defensive unit to stifle the Aztec offense, led by starters Bella Gaspar, Mallory Martel, Sydney Payne, and Gigi Gaspar. The four combined to frustrate San Diego State, dictating the tempo and communicating at a high level. The four combined to collect 10 ground balls and cause five turnovers, providing a solid presence in front of a true freshman.
Offensively Arizona State was clicking on all cylinders, featuring a diverse and relentless attack. Emily Glagolev led the way with five points (two goals & three assists), while four other Sun Devils (Taylor Pinzone, Kaylon Buckner, Carley Adams, Katie Brodsky) registered at least three points. In total, 13 different players recorded at least a point in the double digit victory.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Freshman goalkeeper Katie Vahle looked a lot like her predecessor, not only donning the #00, but also making acrobatic and athletic plays in a similar fashion to former Sun Devil goalkeeper Berkeley Bonneau. In her first home start at Arizona State, she had a conference player of the week-type performance, earning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Arizona State has now had 14 individuals receive the top weekly conference honor in Coach McCormack's three seasons, after previously only winning the award three times in the two prior seasons. The program carries over the momentum from last season, where they were the most decorated team when it came to weekly honors. Of the possible 20 recipients of a Pac-12 Player of the Week award in 2021, ten were Sun Devils. ASU earned seven offensive and three defensive player of the week selections last season and are now on the board for 2022.
Vahle played the first 52 minutes of the game and shut down the Aztecs' offense, allowing only four goals while making nine saves. She added four ground balls and took matters into her own hands on several clear attempts, hustling the length of the field to ensure the Sun Devils could start their offense. In the 16-6 victory, Vahle finished saved 69% of the shots she faced and was awarded her first collegiate victory.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
"You have already seen in the non-conference how tough the entire Pac-12 Conference is from top to bottom," Coach McCormack remarked. "There are no easy games or breaks in the schedule. We have to be ready to play every single time we step on the field."
"I was looking forward to playing on the home field since I committed in 2019 and finally getting out there with my family and friends watching and getting to play with the team was just exhilarating," Katie Vahle mentioned when asked about her home debut. "There's no better place or people I could have experienced the win with."
"It's always so fun playing at home. Especially in front of all of our families, it's truly a blessing," sophomore defender Bella Gaspar added. "It was really awesome especially to have my whole family in the stands because last year due to COVID and the border situation they weren't really able to come down so this was great. The energy was unmatched from start to finish and can't ask for much more than playing the game we love with our best friends."
KNOW YOUR FOES
The Ducks and Sun Devils will face off on Friday at 4 PM. Oregon is 1-3 on the season, losing their last three games after defeating George Mason in their season opener. They are coming off a 18-15 loss to San Diego State on Sunday, Feb. 27 and have not played since. The Ducks 1-3 record can be a little misleading, as they have lost three games by a total of seven goals.
Oregon has reached double figures scoring in each of their four games, featuring a well-balanced attack averaging 13.5 goals/game. They are led by attacker Lillian Stumpf, who has a team-high 18 points (11 goals & 7 assists). Fellow attacker Hanna Hilcoff has also been productive, registering 17 points (14 goals & 3 assists). Attacker Shonly Wallace is the third Duck to reach double figures in points, scoring at least two goals in each of their four games.
Sophomore goalkeeper Cassidy Eckert has started all four games in net, making 28 total saves. Freshman Paige Crowther did see significant playing time in the game against Kennesaw State, subbing in for the final 45 minutes and making six saves. This will be the sixth meeting between the two programs, with Arizona State holding a 3-2 advantage. The Sun Devils have won the last three games against the Ducks by a combined score of 51-30.
The Sun Devils host No. 23 Colorado in a Pac-12 Showdown on Sunday at 11 AM on Pac-12 Network. The Buffaloes are off to one of the best starts of any team in the country, boasting a 5-0 record. They will put their perfect season on the line during a road matchup with USC on Friday before making the trip to Tempe.
Colorado has picked up wins over Louisville, Harvard, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, and UC Davis during their impressive run. The offense is led by attackers Sadie Grozier and Charlie Rudy, who both have 18 points and 17 goals on the season. Attacker Chloe Willard is the reigning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, collecting 15 pionts in five games. The Buffaloes are averaging 14.6 goals/game this season.
Defensively, Colorado is led by reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week defender Devon Bayer. She has a team-high 12 ground balls and 44 draw controls. Goalkeeper Grace Donnelly has started all five games in the cage, playing every possible minute. She has made 42 total stops this season and is making saves a a 43% clip. The two sides split the season series in 2021 with two evenly-matched, close battles. ASU picked up their first win ever over the Buffaloes at home a year ago.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The Sun Devils are coming off a season in which they nearly earned a NCAA tournament berth last year and will face a 2022 slate filled with opportunities to build their postseason resume. The schedule consists of 16 regular season games and the Pac-12 Lacrosse Tournament, hosted by Arizona State in Tempe. Of those 16 games, nine of them are against teams ranked in the Top-20 of at least one major preseason poll. The Sun Devils have arguably the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation, featuring matchups filled with connections to the ASU coaching staff.
Arizona State earned the chance to host the 2022 Pac-12 Lacrosse Championships, running May 4-7 in Tempe. Two first round matchups will take place on Wednesday, May 4 with the two semifinal showdowns following on Thursday, May 5. The Pac-12 Championship comes after an off day, hosted at Sun Devil Lacrosse/Soccer Stadium on Saturday, May 7.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Friday's game against the Ducks will be broadcasted via the ASU Live Stream, with live stats also available. Visit the following link for more information on how to watch the ASU vs. Colorado match up on Pac-12 Networks, with live stats provided 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.