After finishing the last year’s season 17-4, ASU was the favorite going into the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference playoffs. Then after strong wins against the University of California at Santa Barbara and Chapman University, the Sun Devils won the SLC championship.
From there the Sun Devils moved on to the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association national tournament, and after winning their first three rounds, they
fell in the National Championship game to Michigan.
“[We] need to forget about what we did last season and focus on beating the teams we have to beat this year,” sophomore attackman A.J. Redford said.
The No. 2 Sun Devils had a chance to show their skills in a friendly scrimmage against Nevada Sunday. The team came into the scrimmage with a record of 2-0 in MCLA play, but it gave ASU’s young talent a chance to get some live reps and see where the team needed to improve.
Ryan Westfall and Eric Nelson are two guys that we are definitely relying on,” Malone said. “They have been here the longest out of anybody. There’s no question those guys have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.”
Malone is counting on those players to help the team achieve its ultimate goal — an MCLA national championship.
But the road to the championship will not be easy.
“We [have] got to improve every day that we step on the field, whether it is a game, a practice or we are in the classroom,” Malone said.
And the team is on board.
“[It’s] championship or bust,” Westfall said.
The Sun Devils next game is Saturday against No. 13 ranked Boston College at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale.