The ASU men’s lacrosse team came so close last year. That statement has become repetitive to the fans and members of the team.
Being the runner-up for the 2010 and 2011 seasons perfectly describes how close the team is. A loss in the semi-finals of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association against Cal Poly, was the last action the team has seen.
In the following season, Coach Chris Malone found his team sitting at a pivotal point in the season.
“We were at 7-5, and we really had to make a decision from there,” Malone says. “We came together as a team and won our next seven games.”
Malone will be making the right adjustments this season to keep the team in contention. However, there is one part of a player’s game that he can’t teach.
“You can’t coach experience,” Malone says. “We’ll be starting a new goalie this year, but the returning players have their first few years in the system and should be ready to go.”
Last year, Ben Martynec came in as a freshman and contributed one of the most balanced season statistics during the first year with the team.
“Losing those guys set the offense back a little bit,” sophomore Ben Martynec says. “We still have the best defense in the NCAA, but our offense was affected last year by their departure.”
Martynec, a midfielder, recorded 14 goals and also led the team with 14 assists over the span of last season.
Martynec hopes to continue his consistent play on the field, and expects more change in the upcoming season.
“The biggest change this year is experience,” Martynec says. “We had mostly Freshman and Sophomores playing last year, and with our growing experience we are looking to come out firing.”
For the players with experience on the team, the bittersweet taste of the previous seasons has a sour taste in their mouth.