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College Crosse Prospectus: Goalies Morris, Madonna Becoming Leaders On Defense

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2017 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING, College Crosse Nation!! Thanks for making us a part of your day! Here are your links for February 13, 2018.

What You Missed

Who’s up and who’s down after this past weekend with our other new contributor, Dan Arestia!

A new episode of Across College Lacrosse is up!

Michigan Wolverines head coach Kevin Conry is using a family atmosphere as he takes over the Big Ten program.

Lacrosse The Nation

Brand new polls are out!

  • Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, and Virginia enter the top 10 in the media poll, and Villanova enters the top 20. In the coaches poll, UNC is at 13.
  • In the women’s media poll, James Madison enters the top 10 after upsetting North Carolina, and Towson moves all the way up to 11 after upsetting Penn State.
  • Merrimack is atop the new Nike/US Lacrosse Division II poll after Lenoir-Rhyne upset Limestone this past weekend. The Bears move up to sixth in the nation.
  • Many Division III teams haven’t begun their season, but Lynchburg dropped out of the Nike/US Lacrosse Division III poll top 10 to No. 11.

Some individual national and conference honors:

BIG EAST:

  • Christian Cuccinello, A, Villanova (Attack Player of the Week)
  • Sean Mayle, LSM, Denver (Midfield Player of the Week)
  • Dylan Gaines, D, Denver (Defensive Player of the Week)
  • Zach Masessa, LSM, Providence (Freshman of the Week)

We’re finding out who’s on the USILA Team of the Week:

Denver’s Dylan Gaines also made the team.

Paul Rabil spent some time with Steph Curry!

Virginia Cavaliers midfielder Dox Aitken sat down to discuss the big win over Loyola:

Furman Paladins head coach Richie Meade recaps the UNC loss and previews this weekend’s Sacred Heart game:

NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz joined the Sports Business Radio Podcast for an interview:

Maryland Terrapins goalie Dan Morris is taking the next step as a vocal leader, notes Scott Gelman of The Diamondback:

“He was getting on someone like, ‘Hey, I need you in this spot,’” [Tim] Rotanz said. “That was something I’ve never heard him say because we’ve had older guys in the short-stick position so he hasn’t had to get animated. He’s starting to find his place, when he can and when he can’t.”

Morris and Rotanz, who are roommates, often debrief on team practices after getting home. The conversations started with the pair’s frustrations.

But then, after discussions with Rotanz and watching film, Morris recognized the team’s youthful defense won’t be perfect from the outset. That’s where Rotanz noticed the biggest change in Morris’ perspective.

”We say ‘Hey, we can get as frustrated as we want, but we have a lot of young guys, and we have to help them out,’” Rotanz said. “That’s where Dan is starting to turn the page. We’re both learning.”

Speaking of goalies, the Syracuse Orange have a new netminder in Dom Madonna. Matt Lieberman of The Daily Orange delves into his long journey:

At 5 years old, Madonna was forced into the cage by his two uncles, Anthony and Michael Grizanti, both of whom played college lacrosse. When Madonna first stood between the pipes, he “bawled his eyes out,” he said, afraid of getting hit with the ball. To get their nephew over his fear of playing goalie, Michael and Anthony tossed the ball off of Madonna’s helmets until he stopped crying.

“They were like ‘See, it doesn’t hurt,’” Madonna remembers his uncles saying. “After that was when I accepted the role of playing goalie.”

And Madonna became one of the most important ones in the history of LHS. Originally from Liverpool, Madonna’s family moved to Texas for five years before returning prior to his sophomore year of high school. Liverpool, at the time, was one of the top teams in New York but could never win the elusive sectional title.

“We had every single piece to win a championship except for goalie,” [Mike] Felice said.

Madonna proved to be the missing link.

Dartmouth is ready for their season to start on Saturday:

UMass is back in action today against Sacred Heart, which will test the team’s character, as Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette explains:

“I’m hoping to see more togetherness on the field and for them to stick with our principles,” [Greg] Cannella continued. “On Saturday when things went south, guys did their own thing. That not right and it’s not how they’re coached. It’s something that has to change that’s for sure.”

The bright spots from Saturday were goalie Sean Sconone, who had 15 saves, and faceoff specialist Noah Rak. The senior won 12 of 19 draws and scored two goals. Junior Isaac Paparo, a preseason all-conference, figures to lead the team on close defense.

The Minutemen don’t have a player who’ll likely put up big individual numbers offensively. They’ll be looking to get production from up and down the roster.

“It’s going to come from a lot of different guys. We’re not one-dimensional in any sense,” Cannella said. “We need consistency from the upperclassmen in the midfield. We’re starting a freshman (Chris Connolly) and two sophomores (Devin Spencer and Jesse Leung) on attack so it’s going to be a little bit of a rocky road with those guys. It’s going to be about spreading it out. Hopefully we’ll have a lot of assisted goals.”

A New York appellate court has refused to dismiss a former Syracuse women’s player’s suit that accused head coach Gary Gait of throwing a ball at her head.

Some more highlights from this past weekend’s games:

Penn State trusts the process with FOGO Gerard Arceri, writes Paddy Cotter of The Daily Collegian:

“At the end of the day, you have to live with some of that,” [Jeff] Tambroni said. “Because he does get to know a face-off guy and he’s got strategies and techniques that he uses as counters. And today it worked for us.”

The patience and trust payed off. After taking a one-point deficit into the halftime break, Penn State owned possession. Arceri finished 16-of-26.

“We just have to stay with him,” Tambroni said. “I was proud of coach [John] Hogan because he just stayed with Gerard the whole time today, never lost faith in him and Gerard certainly repaid that.”

Arceri credited the turnaround to his wingmen.

Division III UNW will be added to the Midwest Lacrosse Conference in 2019.

The Utah Utes begin their final MCLA club season this weekend with three games in four days in Southern California.

Shoutout to William Penn, a NAIA school, that will be adding men’s and women’s lacrosse starting in 2020!

Disturbing news: One Jamaican national team player was stabbed this past weekend in Jamaica.

Philly Jawns

The LOVE statue is coming back!

World News

We all love you Chloe Kim!

Video of the Day

Some guy decided to make artificial earthquakes.

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