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College Crosse Prospectus: Bill Belichick Likes It When You Say “Lacrosse”

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Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING, College Crosse Nation!! Thanks for making us a part of your day! Here are your links for January 30, 2018.

What You Missed

In our latest College Crossecast (Episode 69), we spent an hour talking about the Big Ten.

Part one of our Philly college lacrosse preview dropped yesterday. Part two drops later this morning.

Recapping Sunday’s scrimmages.

Lacrosse The Nation

What makes Bill Belichick laugh? LACROSSE!

I couldn’t find anything from Chris Hogan and lacrosse from Super Bowl Opening Night, which occurred in St. Paul last night.

Speaking of former Big Ten lacrosse players, the Big Ten released their coaches poll and players to watch:

As the Furman Paladins get ready for their season-opener against Vermont, head coach Richie Meade discusses the preseason and their recent scrimmage against Limestone, as well as the game on Thursday:

The Maryland Terrapins top the Division I IWLCA poll.

Lafayette is getting ready to prepare for North Carolina:

Sick highlights and a very good taste in music? That’s Syracuse for ya:

Check out some of Loyola’s defensive highlights against North Carolina:

Detroit Mercy is ready for their season:

Michigan and Quinnipiac announced their 2018 captains.

Pressbox previews the 2018 season for a handful of Maryland teams. Speaking of season previews, here’s more of them:

Quint Kessenich for Inside Lacrosse gives his top 20:

16. Virginia — I could rank Virginia as high as No. 8 or 9 or as low as outside the top 20. I’m not quite sure what to expect. They played seven one-goal games last spring but faltered defensively in April, dropping three of their last four games. Their lack of success in the ACC has been well documented. The positives revolve around attackman Michael Kraus and midfielders Dox Aitken and Ryan Conrad. Their style will be fun to watch but playing uptempo without winning face-offs and making defensive stops is a difficult proposition.

15. Penn — Face-off Yearbook has Penn at No. 32. I’m a little more optimistic based upon a 7-6 record in 2017. But look closer. The Quakers lost one-goal games to Penn State, Michigan and Yale. They secured wins over Harvard, Cornell and Virginia twice. And now they bring their entire offense back, 212 points of 220 scored. The early season schedule is ruthless — maybe the hardest opening month in the country facing Michigan, Maryland, Duke, Penn State and Navy. LSM Connor Keating is a super player, but Penn isn’t very experienced down low. Expect high-scoring games and big point totals from guys like Simon Mathias, Kevin McGeary, Tyler Dunn and Reilly Hupfeldt.

The Navy Midshipmen hope senior midfielder Casey Rees delivers after missing all of last year, pens Edward Lee of The Baltimore Sun:

“I’m constantly asking him how he’s feeling,” [Rick] Sowell said half-jokingly. “He came back in September, and he got over it being his first time back. They say that after surgery, just getting over that mental hurdle, knowing that you can plant and cut and do all those things that you were able to do. He probably practiced 85 percent of the time in the fall. He would be fine. He would say, ‘Coach, I’m good. I’m kind of sore, but it’s that good sore.’ He was in excellent shape. He just needed to get into that lacrosse shape with the cutting and the moving and getting hit. He wore the knee brace, and that gave me a lot of comfort. But he went through all of that in fall ball. That being said, I’m still checking in with him and asking how he’s feeling.”

Rees was poised to be a key piece of the Midshipmen’s offense after scoring 34 goals and three assists in 2016. The 34 goals ranked as the third-highest total in program history by a midfielder and the most since Brian Keith set the record of 41 in 1989.

Instead, Rees was relegated to the sideline, and Navy finished 2017 tied for 47th in scoring after averaging 9.4 goals.

Rees has returned to the first midfield where he will be flanked by juniors Greyson Torain (23 goals, 15 assists in 2017) and Ryan Wade (13 G, 25 A). Sowell said it should not be a stretch to anticipate that Rees mights exceed his output from two years ago.

After taking over in the second half of the season, Penn State Nittany Lions defenseman Nick Cardile is ready to take a larger role this year, notes Andrew Rubin of The Daily Collegian:

“Transitioning from playing pretty well in the last couple of games in the Big Ten and the playoffs really helped me going into the offseason with strength and conditioning,” Cardile said. “And then coming back and just having that confidence as a sophomore, especially with Chris Sabia and Mike Aronow being leaders on the defense.”

In April and May, as the lacrosse season wound down last year, Cardile was also getting experience playing at a new position. Coach Jeff Tambroni and his staff had been using him as a long-stick middie and then moved him to defenseman.

Sabia, who has grown into a top-level college defenseman, has been excited to watch Cardile’s progress as expectations for the defensive unit climb.

“He’s grown a lot,” Sabia said. “It’s been really cool to see him from when he started to now becoming another leader on the defense.”

Lacrosse All Stars is debuting a series on Cleveland State’s first year from 2017:

New gear for some teams!

Women’s stories: Meghan Rock from The Marquette Wire writes on Nia Polk, Marquette’s first player from Wisconsin and the sister of former Philadelphia Eagles running back Chris Polk:

Polk, a freshman defender from Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, about 40 minutes south of Milwaukee, passed up offers from Division II school East Stroudsburg in Pennsylvania and Northern Michigan to attend Marquette. According to Polk, the culture and welcoming team dynamic were driving forces in the decision-making process.

“Everyone is super welcoming, and we know how to play around with each other but then get down to business at practice and get stuff done,” Polk said.

Polk first picked up a lacrosse stick during spring of eighth grade, far later than her teammates, most of whom started in elementary school. “I always said I wasn’t very athletic when I was younger, but I guess lacrosse is what showed me that I was,” Polk said.

Growing up with four brothers taught her to roll with the punches and compete against more polished competition. Polk is far from the only athlete in her family. Her older brother Chris was a running back at the University of Washington before playing in the NFL for three years as a backup on the Philadelphia Eagles and the Houston Texans. Watching Chris transition from high school to college to the pros “lit a fire” under Polk.

“It made me want to play at the highest level I could,” Polk said. “He taught me that you can work hard for anything you want in life.”

Syracuse Orange freshman Mackenzie Baker is realizing her dream as an Orange lacrosse player is coming true, writes Lindsay Kramer of Syracuse.com:

She never practiced signing her name for the adulation that would inevitably come with life as a freshman attack for the Orange.

And if anyone should have known better, it’s Baker. Growing up in Camillus, Baker plastered her bedroom wall with autographed team posters of the Orange women.

Even after she committed to SU while as a freshman at West Genesee, Baker still went to team signing events and gathered the scribbles of players who in a year or two would be her teammates.

So Baker finally got to Syracuse this season, and during a team trip to Florida earlier this month helped head coach Gary Gait at a youth clinic. In a rounding off of the cycle of development, some of the youngsters wanted Baker’s autograph.

Montevallo is getting ready for their inaugural season of Division II men’s lacrosse, as Alec Etheredge of the Shelby County Reporter describes:

[Jason] Lange will see his dreams fulfilled when the Falcons take the field for their inaugural match Friday, Feb. 9 against Newberry College. The first face off in program history is scheduled for 6 p.m., with a tailgate and cookout before the match and free t-shirts for the first 100 Montevallo students to arrive at the game.

When Lange arrived in Montevallo, he didn’t know his presence would have such a big impact on the sport of lacrosse among youth in the Birmingham area and in the state of Alabama.

After securing commitments from six in-state men’s lacrosse student-athletes in his first signing class at Montevallo, Lange has caught the attention of lacrosse enthusiasts and is at the forefront of the growth of the sport in Alabama while offering the opportunity for youth to fulfill their childhood dreams.

“(Lacrosse) is definitely growing (in Alabama),” Lange said. “I just think it’s a matter of time until more schools add lacrosse and the state finally sanctions it as a high school sport, which I think would be a very positive thing for all kids in Alabama.”

Philly Jawns

The Eagles enjoyed Opening Night last night.

Is John Cena actually an Eagles fan?

World News

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan are creating something to tackle health-care.

Video of the Day

Here’s some of the highlights from the Grammy’s if you missed them on Sunday (like I did).

That’s it for today!! I’ll see you out there!! Make sure you follow us on social media!

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Managing Editors: Safe Fekadu, Chris Jastrzembski, Ryan McDonnell