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Lacrosse Falls in Pac-12 Tournament Championship

May 7, 2022

TEMPE, Ariz. - Sun Devil Lacrosse's exciting run in the Pac-12 Tournament finally came to an end, as they fell to No. 17 Stanford in the championship game at Sun Devil Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium.

Behind the support of a record-breaking home crowd, No. 23 Arizona State (11-8, 7-3) fought valiantly to try and claim what would have been only the second tournament conference championship in Arizona State history. Ultimately, they were unable to become the first Pac-12 team to string together three wins in four days, with the Cardinal claiming a 18-12 victory and second straight tournament title.

"There was never any quit in us today," Head Coach Tim McCormack remarked. "We have a lot to be proud of from this week. Ready to re-group and shift our focus towards a potential NCAA Postseason appearance."

Facing a tall task of defending a potent Cardinal attack who received a first round bye, the Sun Devils still managed to stay in the game the entire way. Stanford was able to build up a lead as high as seven in the first half, but ASU closed the gap to as little as three in the second half. Multiple comebacks were attempted late in the game to no avail, with Stanford securing the title.

Senior attacker Katie Brodsky led an offense that was able to exploit the Cardinal, as she scored three goals and registered an assist. Senior midfielder Lia Willis shined bright on the biggest of stages, scoring two goals and also assisting on another. Kaylon Buckner added two goals and an assist, with Emily Glagolev contributing two assists and Carley Adams two goals. Freshman goalkeeper Katie Vahle nearly became the first freshman goalie to win the Pac-12 Tournament Title, making nine stops and coming through at critical points during the comeback attempt.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Three Sun Devils were named to the Pac-12 All-Tournament team following the completion of the championship game. Attacker Emily Glagolev, midfielder Taylor Pinzone, and goalkeeper Katie Vahle received the honor as voted on by the coaches. Three is the most ASU has ever landed on the All-Tournament team, with respect for the championship run being shown. Glagolev had four goals and eight assists (12 points); Pinzone had four goals, six draw controls, and five ground balls; Vahle went 2-1 while making 22 saves and collecting nine ground balls.

Emily Glagolev, Arizona State
Katie Vahle, Arizona State
Taylor Pinzone, Arizona State

Liz Scott, California
Kate Burnside, Colorado
Morgan McCarthy, Oregon
Shonly Wallace, Oregon
Ailish Kelly, Stanford (MVP)
Ashley Humphrey, Stanford
Kara Rahaim,Stanford
Annabel Frist, Stanford 
Madison Waters, USC
Danielle Carson, USC

HOW IT HAPPENED
The effects of three games in four days were apparent early on, as Stanford got off to a hot start. They would score the first two goals of the game thanks to Ailish Kelly, but Kaylon Buckner got the Sun Devils on the board to respond. It was Annabel Frist's turn to score back-to-back goals, as she extended the Cardinal lead to 4-1. Kaylon Buckner was excellent in the first period, scoring her second goal and cutting the score to 4-2. Stanford proceeded to go on a crucial 5-0 run, establishing as high as a seven-goal lead. It was 7-2 after the first quarter, with Arizona State needing to re-group. 

Stanford once again came out swinging, scoring the first two goals of the second period. Arizona State would go on a run of their own, stringing together an excellent stretch of lacrosse. During a 3-0 run over five minutes, Katie Brodsky scored once and Carley Adams put home a pair to trim the lead to 9-5. The turning point of the game came at the six minute mark of the second, as Carley Adams received her second yellow card and was disqualified from the game. The Maroon & Gold was forced to adapt their gameplan to account for the loss of their leading goal scorer. Each team exchanged goals to end the period, with the one from the Sun Devils coming from Katie Brodsky to make it a 10-6 game at halftime.

Several individuals stepped up in the second half to keep the game close, with the Sun Devils in need of a monumental comeback. Goals courtesy of Lia Willis and Emily Munro provided an answer to an early Ali Baiocco goal, with ASU getting within three for the first time since the opening quarter. The Cardinal proceeded to go on a 3-0 run that was a back-breaker for ASU, jumping back on top 14-8. There was no quit in the Sun Devils, as Lia Willis scored her second of the quarter to cut the deficit to 14-9 through three.

There was no crazy comeback in the cards, as Stanford continued to play smart with the lead. ASU was still able to establish some confidence, as they continued to respond to Stanford goals. Back-to-back scores by Katie Brodsky and Taylor Pinzone midway through the fourth offered a slight bit of hope, but two more Cardinal goals made the lead insurmountable. The score didn't stop Mina Scott from ending the game strong, as she scored before Stanford put the finishing touches on 18-12 victory.
NCAA SELECTION SHOW
Arizona State was in great position to receive an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament heading into the week and only improved their chances with the historic run. They moved up to No. 24 in the RPI thanks to a massive win over USC, giving ASU two Top-20 wins on their resume, both of which have come on the road or in a neutral setting. The win over Stanford earlier in the season is even more impressive now, with the Sun Devil Lacrosse postseason resume highlighted by their No. 12 overall strength of schedule and No. 1 rated non-conference slate. 

The NCAA Men's and Women's Lacrosse selection show will air on ESPNU tomorrow starting at 6 PM MST. The Sun Devils will find out their postseason fate, as they seek their first ever NCAA Tournament berth.

QUOTABLES

Head Coach Tim McCormack
On what contributed to the loss

"Fouls, too many cards. I think we gave up five for six goals on yellow cards. After the fourth ones locked in I think we had six and three of those are locked in for full that's the difference."

On Ailish Kelly playing in this game
"She's a monster, she's a really good player for sure so she certainly helped them. I think across the board they had great contributions on offense, I think their scoring was pretty tight but they scored a lot of them between those few guys."

On making history
"Like I've been saying any extra days you get together are great days so we had another one today. The hope is that we learn and if we can do that and learn and grow from it."

On post season
"Yeah we're optimistic, who knows what can happen but we currently are optimistic and are really hoping to get more days together."

Senior midfielder Lia Willis
On what contributed to the loss

"I think we could've limited our yellow cards just a little bit as the score got closer. I feel like we wanted it and finding and challenging to play composed and calm instead of getting those yellow cards, I think that hurts us defensively."

On Stanford coming to play
"I think Stanford is a great team, I enjoy playing them all the time and I think our yellow cards limited us, and if we could've kept those to a lower number that would've been really good for us."

On making it this far
"I'm super proud of this group, I'm a fifth-year and I couldn't be more happy with how far we got and how hard we've worked I love these people and they're family."

On post season
"I'm always optimistic so thumbs up always."

Senior attacker Katie Brodsky
On what contributed to the loss

"I think Stanford came out strong and we didn't stop their runs as quickly as we could have and that was pretty important to do which we failed to do early in the game. We kept trying to start our own runs but it didn't work out as well. I think we could've stepped up as a team but I'm so proud of this team and how hard we worked and how we stayed together and played as a team."

On losing Carley Adams after two yellow cards
"That was definitely a bummer to have her out, she's such a great player and she produces a lot of goals and plays for us so it definitely gave us a hit but the girls who went in for her and everyone on the field stepped up majorly and we started to work well after the second quarter."

On making history
"So grateful, we always talk about coming out and playing as a team and I think that's one of the biggest blessings, we get to play together every day and not just on game days. Definitely, a bummer because I wanted to help give this team a championship, especially the seniors who started this program. Pete, our trainer, talked about how we don't have anything to prove but I think we need to prove it to ourselves. I will be back next year so hopefully, we get the championship then."

On post season 
"Very optimistic, I think we have a great chance to go play post season and when we do it will be awesome."

PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP IN TEMPE
Arizona State has hosted an extremely popular Pac-12 Lacrosse Tournament, with the event attracting excellent crowds for all four game so far. Sun Devil Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium is no stranger to hosting major events, but this is the first postseason lacrosse action ever in Tempe. The Sun Devil Athletics and Pac-12 Conference Staff teamed up to put on a championship-worthy showcase of the sport.

UP NEXT
The NCAA Men's and Women's Lacrosse selection show will air on ESPNU tomorrow starting at 6 PM MST. The Sun Devils will find out their postseason fate, as they seek their first ever NCAA Tournament berth. For more information on how to watch and to follow along with the selections, visit the following link.

HOW TO FOLLOW
For the latest updates, follow our Twitter and Instagram accounts (@SunDevilWLax). Like our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sundevilwlax/) for content on the team throughout the season. Visit our website, TheSunDevils.com, for the latest updates and information on the program.