Top-Ranked Arizona State Overpowers No. 10 Simon Fraser

GLENDALE, AZ (March 22, 2014) No. 10 Simon Fraser would claw their way back from an early 2-0 deficit to tie the game at 2-2, but would be unable to contain the high powered offense of top-ranked Arizona State on the day, falling to the No. 1 Sun Devils 18-5.

Suffering only their second loss of the season, senior goaltender Darren Zwack (Sherwood Park, AB/Archbishop Jordan) did everything he could to keep the now 8-2 Clan in the game, tieing a career-high with 22 saves. Junior midfielder Sam Clare (Ladner, BC/Vancouver College) was SFU's most dangerous offensive threat with a team-high 2 goals and 11 shots.

Arizona State midfielder Kyle Denis (San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch HS) opened the scoring, followed by fellow junior, attackman Dan Davis (West Hartford, CT/Hall HS) to put the Sun Devils ahead 2-0. Looking unsettled to start, the Clan would finally gain some traction off of a drive from sophomore midfielder Chris Pond (Penticton BC/Princess Margaret Secondary) to trail 2-1, and then tied the game up on an extra-man goal by Sam Clare to give themselves a fresh start at 2-2.

Unfortunately for SFU, the parity would be short lived as the Clan defense continued to struggle to contain Davis who scored his second of a game high 7 goals, 5 of which were scored in the first half, to spark a 5-0 run the rest of the opening period to give ASU a commanding lead of 7-2 after 15:00 minutes.

Fraser showed much better composure in the second frame, regaining some offensive touch as sophomore midfielder Jordan Lashar (Burnaby, BC/Burnaby South Secondary) found attackman Tyler Kirkby (Burnaby, BC/Burnaby South Secondary) on the side of the Sun Devil crease to reset the score to 7-3.

Davis, however, would continue to be the Clan's kryptonite scoring consecutive goals to extend the ASU lead to 9-3. Clare swerved his way through the Arizona State defense with a solo effort to answer back at 9-4, but Davis' fifth of the game once again fuelled the ASU momentum, moving the Sun Devils to double-digits at 10-4. Arizona State senior midfielder Logan Quinn (Walnut Creek, CA/Acalanes HS) added the final dagger of the first half with his second of the game to put the Sun Devils ahead 11-4 at halftime.

Simon Fraser appeared re-inspired out of the break, controlling possession for an extended stretch, but were unable to solve the Arizona State defense to start any kind of comeback. ASU sophomore midfielder Finn Wells (Scottsdale, AZ/Chaparral HS) delivered what would turn out to be the knock-out blow, ending the standoff at the 8:45 mark of the third quarter with the Sun Devils 12th goal.

It was all Arizona State the rest of the way, as a remaining goal from SFU sophomore attackman Lyndon Knuttila (Maple Ridge, BC/Thomas Haney Secondary), assisted by junior Ward Spencer (Saskatoon, SK/Evan Hardy Collegiate), in the fourth quarter was the lone bright spot of another 7-1 ASU run over the final two quarters to hand Fraser a convincing loss of 18-5.

The Clan will look to rebound tomorrow in their final contest of a three-game trip to Arizona when they face Illinois in a neutral site, out-of-conference match-up at 1:00pm on Sunday, March 23 back at ASU's West Campus. Illinois will then play Arizona State on Tuesday, March 25 at 7:00pm.


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