Lacrosse Moves Up Four Spots, Reaches New RPI High
As the regular season gets closer to a conclusion, Sun Devil Lacrosse continues to emerge as one of the up-and-coming programs in the nation. Take a closer look at how the 2022 campaign has unfolded, with Arizona State putting themselves in a position for their first berth in the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament. The following is a breakdown of the Maroon & Gold's postseason resume at this point in the season:
SUN DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS
Arizona State is currently ranked in the Top-25 in one of two major national polls, the third straight week they have been ranked. This is the first instance in which ASU stayed in three consecutive Top-25's. Inside Lacrosse/IWCLA slot the Sun Devils at No. 23 in their latest polls, matching the highest spot ever occupied by the program. ASU is also receiving votes and on the cusp of cracking the most recent U.S. Lacrosse Magazine Top-20.
Head Coach Tim McCormack has challenged his team with an extremely difficult schedule and it has paid off, as the Sun Devils are looked upon favorably in two key metrics. Arizona State has the No. 10-rated strength of schedule having played eight Top-25 teams through 15 games. Because of their success in those game, Arizona State has a RPI of 27, which has climbed dramatically over the past few weeks.
U.S. Lacrosse Magazine recently published their weekly bracketology and Arizona State received some major recognition. Not only were the Sun Devils included in the publications' field of 29 teams, they were also classified as one of three bracketology "Winners" of the week. By earning this distinction, the Maroon & Gold find themselves in elite company. Other "Winners" of the week included No. 5 Duke, who defeated No. 2 Boston College, as well as No. 8 Maryland, who picked up a pair of Top-25 road victories.
Arizona State is currently projected to play UConn in a first round matchup at No. 2 seed Boston College. What is helping Coach McCormack's team separate itself is the lack of bad losses, with all six of their defeats in 2022 coming at the hands of teams currently in the Top-25. To take that a step further, three Sun Devil losses have been against teams in the Top-10. ASU is one of four Pac-12 teams listed in the field, joined by USC, Stanford, and Colorado. Only the ACC and Big Ten (5 each) have more teams in the mock field than the Pac-12. The regular season finale is against No. 17 USC, who came in at 18th in the latest RPI, representing another opportunity to increase their postseason appeal.
The resume of the Maroon & Gold includes several impressive wins that will prove to be a huge boost come postseason time. Despite playing the 10th-toughest schedule in the nation, Arizona State is 9-6 and is currently on a five-game winning streak.
March 13th - Arizona State 20, #23 Colorado 6
Arizona State took control of the game early and never looked back, overwhelming the ranked Buffaloes during an 8-0 second period. The 14-goal margin of defeat was the largest in the nine-year history of the Colorado program. They claim their second win over a Top-25 team as a program, doing it in impressive fashion.
April 3rd - Arizona State 13, @ #14 Rutgers 12 (OT)
Sun Devil Lacrosse earned a dramatic comeback victory on the road over No. 14 Rutgers. They pick up their first victory over a Top-15 opponent in program history, handing the highly-touted Scarlet Knights only their second loss of the season. Carley Adams scored the game-winning goal in the first sudden death overtime period, sending the strong contingent of Sun Devil fans that had made the trip into a frenzy.
ASU was down by as many as four goals at several points of the game in less than ideal weather, but showed resiliency and toughness in mounting a valiant comeback effort. Arizona State was responsible for the final three goals of the game, stunning the home crowd and earning the program's first victory over a Big Ten opponent.
April 8th - #25 Arizona State 18, #22 Stanford 11
Sun Devil Lacrosse finally got over the hump, defeating Stanford for the first time. Arizona State proved to be the better team from the opening draw, outscoring the No. 22 Cardinal each of the four quarters en route to an impressive 18-11 victory. Now that Head Coach Tim McCormack has defeated Stanford, his program has now beaten all five Pac-12 opponents. In a matchup of Top-25 teams, the No. 25 Sun Devils controlled the action in front of a lively home crowd.
The Maroon & Gold backed up a road win over No. 14 Rutgers with a second straight Top-25 victory, the first time the program has accomplished the feat.
April 17th - #23 Arizona State 16, @ Colorado 8
Arizona State had never won in Boulder, but that changed in a big way on April 17 thanks to a complete and focused effort. The Sun Devils jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never looked back, utilizing a balanced attack and aggressive defense to overwhelm the Buffaloes from the opening whistle. ASU took the home crowd out of the game as Colorado never got back within four goals, with the Maroon & Gold eventually establishing a running clock thanks to a double-digit lead.
The top of the Pac-12 Conference standings are crowded, but the Sun Devils have played themselves into a prime position. Three teams are currently tied a top the conference with a 7-2 record, with Arizona State locked in a battle for first place with Stanford and USC. The Sun Devils and Trojans will match up at Sun Devil Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium this Friday, Apr. 22 at 3 PM in a contest that will have a major impact on tournament seeding. If Arizona State wins, they would claim at least a share of the regular season Pac-12 Title for the first time in program history. The Maroon & Gold can finish lower than the No. 3 seed regardless of what happens in the season finale, which is their highest conference finish ever.
NCAA TOURNAMENT KEY DATES
Sunday, May 8th - Selection Show on NCAA.com
Friday, May 13th & Sunday, May 15th - First & Second Round Games (Campus Sites)
Thursday, May 19th - Quarterfinals (Campus Sites)
Friday, May 27th - Semifinals (Homewood Field; Baltimore, MD)
Sunday, May 29th - National Championship (Homewood Field; Baltimore, MD)
HOW THE FIELD IS MADE
The NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament is made of 29 teams, with 15 automatic bids handed out to conference tournament champions, leaving 14 at large bids selected by a committee. The Top-8 teams get National Seeds and are guaranteed to host in the first and second round if capable, with the Top-3 seeds also receiving a bye into the second round.
The Sun Devils return home to Tempe for the regular season finale on Friday, Apr. 22 at 3 PM MST against No. 17 USC. The Trojans are tied at the top of the conference with the Sun Devils and the Cardinal, making this one of the biggest matchups in program history. As if the emotions weren't high enough, Arizona State will be honoring a class of 16 seniors in a ceremony following the game. Another legendary class that was part of establishing the foundation of the program will play one final game at Sun Devil Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium. The game will be broadcasted on the ASU Live Stream, with live stats available here. Stay tuned to our social media accounts this week as we honor our seniors and provide more information regarding senior day.
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP COMING TO TEMPE
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. This is a way for the Sun Devils to control their own fate, as a win at the Pac-12 Lacrosse Championships means an automatic berth into the 2022 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament.
TICKETS ON SALE
Tickets for the 2022 Pac-12 Lacrosse Tournament are now available for purchase at the following link. Tickets purchased on Wednesday's quarterfinal and Thursday's semifinal action will be good for both games during that session. Both general admission and reserved seating options will be sold. Group prices are available throughout the event, with more information found here or by calling the Sun Devil Ticket Office at (480) 727-0000.
HOW TO FOLLOW
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.