(Photo Courtesy of Utah Athletics)
The 2023 ASUN
Tournament gets underway on Tuesday, May 2 with the quarterfinals. The semifinals and title game will be on Friday, May 5 and Sunday May 7.
Utah is the top seed and gets the bye to the semifinals, along with No. 2 Air Force. Robert Morris plays host to thus year’s tournament.
No. 1 Utah (10-4, 9-0 ASUN)
For a second year in a row the Utah Utes have run through the conference unscathed during the regular season. That included big wins over Jacksonville and Air Force to help secure the top seed. The Utes will be looking to complete the mission this year and get it done in the postseason.
Star Player: Jordan Hyde, Attack
A leader of the Utes’ offense, Hyde leads the team with 53 points off 45 goals and eight assists. He leads the way for a highly efficient offense as Utah is averaging 17 goals per game (second in DI).
X-Factor: Two-Way Threats
One of the hallmarks of this program since Andrew McMinn’s arrival has been Utah’s ability to deploy two-way playmakers. Midfielders such as Josh Rose (5G/10A/49GB/9CT) and Ruben Santana (3G/1A/5GB/3CT), among multiple others, will make an impact on both ends in many respects.
Player to Watch: Colin Lenskold, Goalie
The freshman stepped into the spot as starting goalie this spring and has proved to be a very solid playmaker. While he has posted a 48% save percentage on the year and been somewhat up and down, how he does in the postseason will be something to watch.
No. 2 Air Force (10-5, 7-2 ASUN)
A 15-11 win over Jacksonville is the headlining victory for this Falcons team who also knocked off Denver early in the year. Air Force’s only two league losses came within a span two weeks as Utah and Bellarmine took down the Falcons.
Star Player: Brandon Dodd, Attack
The senior is second in the league in points with 68 as he has put up 38 goals and 30 assists to lead the way for this Falcons offense.
X-Factor: Jason Rose, Goalie
Anchoring the Air Force defense, Rose has made 153 saves with a 51.9% save percentage this season as he continued to asset himself as a massive piece of this squad.
Player to Watch: Chris Bardak, Defense
Leading the way out in front of the cage for a defense that has allowed nine goals per game against conference opponents and 10 per game on the season as a whole, Bardark has grabbed 45 ground balls and caused 22 turnovers this year.
No. 3 Jacksonville
The Dolphins came into the season as the most hyped team of any in the ASUN. And while the Dolphins grabbed another big non-conference win early in the year over Duke, they fell twice in league play with losses to Utah and Air Force.
Star Player: Dylan Watson, Attack
A graduate transfer from Jacksonville, Watson has been a key piece of this talented Jacksonville offense all season. He is the team’s leading goal-scorer with 36 on the year. He has also dished out nine assists for a total of 45 points.
X-Factor: Nathan Kapp, Faceoff
Kapp has gone 221-for-391 (56%) this season, being a big part of the Dolphins’ success once again. He can control or help flip a game with his abilities at the dot.
Player to Watch: Luke Millican, Goalie
Millican has anchored the Jacksonville defense with 155 saves and a 53% save percentage this season.
No. 4 Mercer (6-9, 5-4 ASUN)
Year one of the Ryan Danhey era has been a good one for the Bears as they have made the postseason for the first time since 2015.
Star Player: Parker Junod, Attack
The senior leads the Mercer offense with 47 points off 29 goals and 18 assists.
X-Factor: Ashton Wood, Faceoff
Wood is a game-changer at the faceoff dot. This season he has gone 226-for-358 (63%). He has gone 60% or higher each of his five seasons in Macon.
Player to Watch: Wesley Chairs, Defense
The Bears’ top pole, Charis has continued to be a big impact player on the back end this season. He has caused 20 turnovers and grabbed 28 ground balls.
No. 5 Bellarmine (10-5, 5-4)
The Knights are amongst their best season in program history with 10 wins. They will now be looking to get the program’s first postseason win.
Star Player: Kyle Playsted, Attack
Playsted leads the team and the conference with 73 points off 37 goals and 36 assists. He is the focal point of a much-improved Bellarmine offense.
X-Factor: JC Higginbotham, Goalie
Anchoring the Bellarmine defense, Higginbotham has made 132 saves with a 52% save percentage in the 12 games in which he has played.
Player to Watch: Denton Macdonald, Midfield
A two-way threat, Macdonald has 15 points off 11 goals and four assists while also having recorded 37 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers.
No. 6 Robert Morris (7-7, 4-5 ASUN)
After winning the league a season ago, the Colonials will return to the tournament in which they are hosting. However, it’s been a very up and down season for this bunch. That includes losses to each of the top three seeds in the league.
Star Player: Taggart Clark, Attack
Clark leads the Colonials with 29 goals and 18 assists for 47 points.
X-Factor: Man-Up Offense
Robert Morris features the best man-up unit in the ASUN and one of the best in college lacrosse, cashing in on 47.7% of such opportunities this season.
Player to Watch: Nate Randall, Goalie
A two-year starter, Randall has been very solid this spring with 131 saves and a 51.4% save percentage.
Mercer vs Bellarmine: Bellarmine
Jacksonville vs Robert Morris: Jacksonville
Utah vs Bellarmine: Utah
Air Force vs Jacksonville: Jacksonville
Utah vs Jacksonville: Utah