January 4, 2010

Inside the January Issue of Lacrosse Magazine

COVER STORY

Lacrosse Magazine: January 2010

The new Florida Lacrosse Facility is very nice.

It's two adjacent rectangles of Bermuda grass (one for practices, one for games), lined only for women's lacrosse and flanked by stands for 1,500 fans. Inside the clubhouse, the equipment room resembles a Nike store. The number of flat screen televisions in the locker rooms would put a midlevel rappers' "Cribs" episode to shame.

The field is one of the most tangible signs of gobs of money Florida has thrown at its women's lacrosse program.

Another is 29 players on the practice field, working on how to ride a clear. It has been rated the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, built by two years of legwork by head coach and Hall of Famer Mandee O'Leary.

They've all come to Gainesville for one reason.

"They bought into the dream. They bought into the fact that they want to win national championships," says O'Leary.

The newly planted palm trees by the entrance of Florida's field will take about 15 years to mature.

How soon will the Gators' lacrosse team do the same?


THE SCOOP

Physical Challenge
Lacrosse fans making the trip this month to the Champion Challenge in Orlando may enjoy a relaxing visit to Disney World and a respite from winter's grip, but the U.S. teams don't see relaxation on their travel itinerary. There's too much work to be done.

Lifestyles: David Slomkowski
Who says goalies can't run? Not David Slomkowski, a former first team All-American keeper at Washington College who founded Athletes Serving Athletes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping physically challenged kids compete in marathons and triathlons with adult mentors. He slowed down to talk about it with LM.


SIDELINE CHATTER

LM's Question of the Month: Lax is _________ (fill in the blank).
We kept it simple this month. No gimmicks, no boundaries and no strings attached. What does lacrosse mean to you? LM's readers responded in force.

OFF THE FIELD

Virginia stars Rhamel (in red) and Shamel Bratton typically get the run of Adam Ghitelman's pad, so we joined 'em.

© Matt Riley

Rhamel and Shamel Bratton

Junior midfielders Rhamel and Shamel Bratton live together a stone's throw from the University of Virginia's historica Rotunda and Academic Village, but they spend all their free time at goalie Adam Ghitelman's pad. They kicked it with LM in their home away from home.

RECRUITING U: THE SERIES

Lessons from Signing Day
November say the first signing period for high school seniors bound for NCAA Divisions I and II colleges, an effective, "whew, glad that's over" to a sometimes topsy-turvy recruiting road. Not long before that, September began the initial communication period for juniors, when they began receiving information from college coaches about playing at the next level. As the recruiting cycle takes another spin, LM surveyed the scene for some lessons from Signing Day.


FEATURES

2010 Vision

LM's 2010 vision sees plenty of storylines and personalities making headlines this year. As the season gets underway, here are 10 to watch.

Old, Bald & Underrated

Unheralded defensive midfielder Chris Schiller's tenacity earned him a spot on the 2010 U.S. team. For the 32-year-old Schiller, who considered himself a long shot, Nov. 1 was one of the most agonizing days of his life.


COLLEGE PRESEASON RANKINGS, PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Take a peak at the players we think will position their teams for greatness in 2010, and make a name for themselves in the process. Click here for the rankings.

Division I Men: Ned Crotty, Duke
Ned Crotty seldom warrants a second look with his pedestrian 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame. But oh, the places he'll go with it.

Division I Women: Caitlyn McFadden, Maryland
Maryland's Caitlyn McFadden had a great junior season in 2009. But LM's Preseason Player of the Year is looking for something more in her senior year.

Division II Men: Drew Bezek, Le Moyne

Le Moyne's Drew Bezek is the only defender among LM's Preseason Players of the Year. Yeah, he's that good.

© Greg Wall

Drew Bezek will be the first to tell you that he's the most boring defenseman you'll ever see play. He's not flashy, he doesn't put up crazy statistics and he doesn't pour out emotions that would make for good TV. But none of that is what made him one of the most respected players in Division II.

Division II Women: Kaitlyn Carter, Adelphi
Adelphi coach Joe Spallina can't say enough nice things about center Kaitlyn Carter -- but he gives it a pretty good effort anyhow. "She's everything a coach could possibly want," Spallina gushes.

Division III Men: Steve Kazimer, Stevenson
Steve Kazimer has virtually the complete package. Great finisher. Good vision. Pinpoint passer. The only chink in his armor? An extremely short fuse.

Division III Women: Kate Robinson, Catholic
There's only one thing that could possibly slow down the final year of Kate Robinson's prolific lacrosse career at The Catholic University of America. Basketball.

MCLA Division I Men: Eliot Grow, BYU
Eliot Grow has taken an unusual path to this LM's Preseason Player of the Year award.

MCLA Division II Men: Joe Costello, St. Thomas
In his heart of hearts, Joe Costello knew his return to the University of St. Thomas was the right one.

WDIA: Krista Shaw, Santa Clara
"Win everything." Krista Shaw doesn't mess around when she talks about her team's goals for the 2010 season.

NJCAA Men: Emmett Printup, Onondaga
Two years ago, Onondaga Community College coach Chuck Wilbur was recruiting at a local tournament when he saw a stocky left-handed attackman unleash a blistering shot that hit the crossbar so hard it landed at midfield. He had seen this shot before.

NJCAA Women: Lauren Welch, Onondaga
Three years ago, the West Genesee (N.Y.) girls' lacrosse team came up with a catchy phrase to describe squandering an easy scoring opportunity: "Welch'n it." My, how things have changed for Lauren Welch.


NLL 2010 PREVIEW

Sunshine State of Mind

Casey Powell's all in, leading the Titans' migration south.

The National Lacrosse League failed in untapped, warm-weather markets like Anaheim, Phoenix and San Jose. That trend could change in Central Florida with the new Orlando Titans.

Prout Ages Out of Colorado
One of the biggest offseason trades involved Gavin Prout, the all-time leading scorer and captain no longer with the Colorado Mammoth.

Stars Align for K-Hawks
Rochester is expected to make the greatest improvement among NLL teams due to the returns of superstar John Grant Jr. and 44-goal scorer Scott Evans. Both missed the 2009 season due to knee surgery.

Team-by-Team Previews
LM's Theresa Smith breaks down all 11 NLL teams and their prospects for the 2010 season.


RUNDOWN

US Lacrosse: USLaxTeams.com
Lacrosse program administrators have finally found solace for their operational woes in USLaxTeams.com, a new league management system developed by US Lacrosse in conjunction with LeagueAthletics.com.

Women's College: Uhlfelders' Back
She has a playing and coaching resume rivaling anyone at any level of the women's lacrosse world, but Michele Uhlfelder will work at Division III Occidental College in Los Angeles this spring.

YOUR EDGE

Your Game: Rules of Engagement
It's lacrosse's version of King of the Mountain. You snap the buckles on your helmet, step out behind the crease, turn towards the endline and face the ball carrier. it's you and him, one-on-one. You're the only line of defense between him and pay dirt. It's time to impose your will. Here's how, courtesy of Joe Cinosky.

Your Game: Crash the Free Position Party
Frankin and Marshall women's lacrosse coach Lauren Paul provides an often-used, but seldom spoken of nugget in spoiling 8-meter opportunities: the free-position push.

Your Body: This, That and the Other
One of the biggest misconceptions is that speed, agility and conditioning are the same. They are not. Learn how to work all three elements at once.

Your Playbook: The Value of Players Asking Questions
One of the best ways to teach your players life lessons while striving to win is to get them to ask questions, writes PCA's David Jacobson.

Your Style: Two-Faced
Stylin' Strings whips up a goalie head, when a few imperfections revealed the uniqueness of custom dye jobs.

GIVE AND GO

Amy Bokker, Stanford and Team USA
Check out LM's Q&A with the Stanford University head coach and U.S. Elite team assistant Amy Bokker, who shows her Philly roots and shares here affinity for Billie Jean King and Sally Ride as women who broke barriers.

COLUMNS

To Our Members: '10 Sense
The US Lacrosse National Convention is on tap. On your way to Baltimore, chew on these morsels PK could surmise as he continued to digest an overindulgence of holiday dinners and sweets.

Her Space: Card Me If You Can
With the increasing physicality of the women's game, changes to our penalty system could help preserve the grace and agility of the sport, writes Clare Lochary.

His Space: Hoya Paranoia?
Rumors have Georgetown men's lacrosse coach Dave Urick on the hot seat. That's balderdash, writes Bill Tanton.


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