Tag Archives: Div III

College Lacrosse: “Recruiting Advice For West Coast Players” From RIT Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Jake Coon And ConnectLAX

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This week we chat with RIT Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach, Jake Coon. His Tigers currently boast a 15-0 record and are no. 1 in the USILA DIII poll. Coach Coon has amassed a 68-13 record in only four years at the helm of the RIT men’s lacrosse program. In that time the Tigers appeared in four straight NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the National Championship in 2013.
RIT Men's Lacrosse Head Coach Jake Coon
When it comes to the recruiting process, Coach Coon believes players need to demonstrate initiative and be proactive in order to find the best fit school. If a player works hard and is willing to be coached, then Coach Coon can find a role for that player on his team. Finally, there’s a lot of competition throughout college lacrosse. Young players need to become dynamic players that always look to refine their skill set.
What advice do you have for players interested in playing Division III lacrosse?
When considering Division III schools young players have a lot of options both academically and athletically. They need to do their homework. Find out what majors a school offers and see if the academics match their needs.
Aside from a Division III label, you are still going to play high level lacrosse. It’s very competitive and demanding. RIT often scrimmages and beats Division I programs in the off season.
What is the best way for players to get on your recruiting radar?

Be proactive with emails and phone calls. We typically want to see a recruit play over their fall and summer seasons. Again, be proactive. We like young men who reach out to us and express their interest. 

Yes, the coach has some responsibility to recruit the player, but in the end players should initiate and maintain contact throughout their recruiting process. 

What type of player do you look for–raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?

It really depends on our current team. If we’re losing 4 midfielders, then we’ll look for 2 offensive and 2 defensive midfielders. We generally try to match our needs.
Our players tend to be grinders. They’re very skilled as well. Being physical off-ball and having a scrappy mindset is important for us. If a player is willing to be coached, then we can find a role for them.
What areas of development would you recommend players focus on to compete at the Division III level?
Players should get out of their comfort zone. Become dynamic players. Many kids come into college with only one hand. An attackman that masters the question mark dodge, for example, should look to develop another move. Defensive players who are really good at ground balls should look to improve their footwork or other areas of their game. Always be thinking, “What’s next?”
How has the accelerated recruiting landscape affected your approach to recruiting? 
We try not to let it affect us. We do get early commitments and we also pick up kids late in the process who are very talented. During the season I don’t do much recruiting at all.
Some final thoughts from Coach Coon:
There’s a lot of parity in college lacrosse. We see a lot of great teams and a lot of great, developing programs each year. The competition remains very high among all college teams, even those that aren’t ranked. Our cross town rival, Nazareth, isn’t ranked but they still play us close each time we meet.

Bottom line, if you have talent you can find a home in the lacrosse world.

ConnectLAX.com helps players maximize their recruiting exposure with mobile recruiting profiles linked to their team roster. Recruits can create their recruiting profile and target list of colleges for free. ConnectLAX team recruiting helps coaches manage and promote their players. Learn more about registering your team at Connectlax.com/recruiting. ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

NCAA Div III: Occidental Women’s Lacrosse (6-0) Rolls To 18-4 Win Over Saint Joseph’s On March 10; Defense Held Past 4 Opponents To Single-Digits

The Occidental women's lacrosse team was balanced on offense and stingy on defense as it improved its best start in program history with an easy 18-4 win over Saint Joseph's (Me.) at Jack Kemp Stadium on Tuesday. The Tigers move to 6-0 overall and are 5-0 with one round of SCIAC play in the books. Tori Larson led Oxy with three goals and Mackenzie Wright, Mary Richardson, Alessandra Quaroni, Rebecca Belding, Rebecca Reese, Alida Beck and Brita Loeb each had two. Abbey Williams also scored for the Tigers. Belding dished out a game-high four assists. But the more impressive performance was Oxy's defense, particularly in transition. The Tigers held Saint Joseph's (Me.) to 5 for 17 on clear attempts, often turning the Monks mistakes into offense at the other end. Mary Morrissey, Kristin Feinberg, Emily Fowler and Monica Rosenkranz led the way, with goalies Kirsten Hee, Adrienne Ruth and Katherine Torrey picking up the slack behind them. "Our last three opponents we held to single digits so that was definitely our goal today," Oxy head coach Stephanie Janice said. "We knew they had some good dodgers so we were just looking for good 1v1 play. We were really getting into a rhythm on defense and six games into the season they're really thinking one play ahead." Fowler forced four turnovers and snatched up three ground balls.

The Occidental women’s lacrosse team was balanced on offense and stingy on defense as it improved its best start in program history with an easy 18-4 win over Saint Joseph’s (Me.) at Jack Kemp Stadium on Tuesday.
The Tigers move to 6-0 overall and are 5-0 with one round of SCIAC play in the books.
Tori Larson led Oxy with three goals and Mackenzie Wright, Mary Richardson, Alessandra Quaroni, Rebecca Belding, Rebecca Reese, Alida Beck and Brita Loeb each had two. Abbey Williams also scored for the Tigers.
Belding dished out a game-high four assists.
But the more impressive performance was Oxy’s defense, particularly in transition. The Tigers held Saint Joseph’s (Me.) to 5 for 17 on clear attempts, often turning the Monks mistakes into offense at the other end.
Mary Morrissey, Kristin Feinberg, Emily Fowler and Monica Rosenkranz led the way, with goalies Kirsten Hee, Adrienne Ruth and Katherine Torrey picking up the slack behind them.
“Our last three opponents we held to single digits so that was definitely our goal today,” Oxy head coach Stephanie Janice said. “We knew they had some good dodgers so we were just looking for good 1v1 play. We were really getting into a rhythm on defense and six games into the season they’re really thinking one play ahead.”
Fowler forced four turnovers and snatched up three ground balls.

NCAA Div III Lacrosse: Pacific University Of Oregon Women’s Lacrosse 2014 Season Preview

Pacific Univ Oregon 2014

For the Pacific women’s lacrosse program, the trend always seems to be onward and upward, whether it is in the win/loss column, the caliber of play or in the quality of their opponents.
In 2013, Pacific took what was perhaps the most experienced team in the nine-year history of the program to a 9-4 overall record. Once again, the Boxers swept their rival programs from Northwest Conference schools and were ultra competitive against a number of high-caliber Division III programs from the Midwest and east coast. Of their four losses, three were decided by three goals or less.
The nine wins gave Pacific their fourth straight winning season, but making it a fifth will require some new players to step up and assume leadership roles. The Boxers lost seven seniors from the 2013 season, including four of the team’s six top scorers.

But Head Coach Wynne Lobel has no doubt that the new look Boxers are ready to go.  “Our new group of players have come in with a great amount of experience,” she said.  “I am psyched to see our first-year players come in, improve beyond the field and develop their game.  We’re a different team this year and it’s so exciting.”

Much of the emphasis on the field will be to continue to play a fast-paced style of lacrosse, which has benefited the Boxers well in the scoring column.  Pacific scored 185 goals in 2013 and the team’s average of 14.23 goals per game ranked 39th among all NCAA Division III teams.

“I am liking a lot of things.  I like how we are playing attack and I like how smart we are on the field,” Lobel said.  “I like how coachable we are, how we are communicating and how we play.  This is a fun team to watch and coach.”

And when Lobel says everyone is playing, she means it.  The Boxers have 17 players on the roster, the smallest team the Boxers have had in the last three years.  That means that everyone will be a critical piece of the Boxers’ winning formula.

“It’s more collaborative this year,” Lobel said.  “We are relying on experience, whether it is a first-year player of a fourth-year player.  I think everyone is working together and are super-motivated to work with whomever is next to them, no matter what year they are.”

The Boxers will need good collaboration to play against what Lobel feels is Pacific’s toughest schedule yet.  The ledger includes matchups with tough western programs from Pomona-Pitzer, Colorado College and Chapman and matchups with established Midwestern programs from Alma, Kenyon and Hope.

With the departure of four-year starter Brittney Hartmann, the Boxers have quite a hole to fill in front of the cage.  Thankfully, Lobel has recruited an experienced goalkeeper in Adrienne Salzwadel (Fr., Beaverton, Ore.) that is ready to step in.

Salzwadel was a three-time All-Metro League selection as a goalie and earned first team honors as a junior.  In her last two years, Salzwadel shared the cage with another player and is excited about the opportunity to hold the position down on her own.

“Adrienne has worked rally hard,” Lobel said.  “She loves playing lacrosse.  She loves playing goalie, communicating and learning new things.  With not competing with anyone for spot, she is flourishing.  She players better when she’s breathing and loose.  We’re stoked to have her in goal.”

DEFENDERSWhen it comes to the defense, Pacific is incredible deep.  Two returners anchor a group of six at the position, paired with more experience at the defensive midfield positions.  The Boxers had one of the best defenses in the west in 2013.  The Boxers were 50th among Division III teams in scoring defense, allowing 9.23 goals per game, and was ninth nationally with 12.08 caused turnovers per game.

Mahea Wong (So., Lake Stevens, Wash.) and Julie Mayhugh (Jr., Tigard, Ore.) return after solid defensive performances in 2013.  Wong started 12 of the team’s 13 games and finished third for the Boxers with 19 caused turnovers.  Mayhugh, who spent the fall studying abroad in Ireland, is expected to see an enhanced role after playing in eight games in her sophomore campaign.

“Mahea is spirited, love the play and came into the season quite fit,” Lobel said.  “Julie is tough, smart and leady to lead us defensively.”

Claire Carpenter (Jr., Escondido, Calif.) showed great growth in her first season playing the game and will also see an enhanced role.  Carpenter played in nine games with three starts and is helped with her lanky 5-foot-9 height.

Jenelle Taylor (Jr., Pendleton, Ore.) stands to see a lot of playing time thanks in part to her 6-foot-1 frame.  A newcomer to the sport, Taylor is returning to athletics after not playing any sport in two years at Blue Mountain CC.  She was a three-sport athlete in high school in soccer, bowling and track and field.

“Jenelle is still learning the game but she is showing great promise,” Lobel said.  “I am hoping that she will play the field quite a bit.”

Meg Chapman (Fr., Woodinville, Wash.) brings a great level of experience as a newcomer to the program.  Chapman earned all-state honors in her final three prep seasons, was named an All-American in 2013 as a senior and played two times on Washington state select squads.

“Meg is super skilled and a smart player,” Lobel said.  “She has a lot of lacrosse wisdom on the field and thinks quickly.  She is fun to watch.”

Malynda Taylor (Fr., Portland, Ore.) returns to the game after two years away, but brings some athletic skill that will be beneficial for the Boxers.   “She is a pleasant surprise,” Lobel said.  “She confident, has a good head on her shoulders and is a calming presence.”

Brittany Bardin (Fr., Albany, Ore.) is also a newcomer to the sport, but will be expected to see playing time at defender.  Lobel characterizes Bardin as a scrappy, athletic player who has learned the game quickly.

MIDFIELDERSMuch of Pacific’s experience returns in the midfield positions where four players have at least one year of collegiate experience.  Amy Mayhugh (Jr., Tigard, Ore.) is the top returning scorer for the Boxers after she finished second for the team with 33 goals.  The versatile attacking midfielder finished with a team-high 13 free-position goals.

“Amy is an incredibly hard worker,” Lobel said.  “She changes the pace of the game for us.  She likes to play the game faster.”

Melanie Niehus (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished fifth for the Boxers with 19 goals.  As talented defensively as she is offensively, Niehus was second for the team with 20 caused turnovers and third with 32 ground balls.  “Melanie is smart and makes things happen,” Lobel said.  “She is a great leader for us in that she is quiet, hard working and gets the job done.  She works hard for the benefit of the team.”

Kacey Killingbeck (Sr., Nampa, Idaho) will once again be a depended upon member of the defensive midfield.  She played in 10 games last year and had six caused turnovers.  Nicki Leeming (So., Las Vegas, Nev.) will also see an enhanced role after playing in all 13 games at midfield with 12 ground balls.

Paisley Hiefield (Fr., Portland, Ore.) brings a solid level of experience for the Boxers as the lone newcomer in the midfield.  Hiefield played two seasons of high school lacrosse and will use her small 5-foot-4 frame to her advantage.

Pacific lost its most experience at attack, but fills the void with some talented newcomers that should provide steady scoring.

Kara Smouse (So., Portland, Ore.) is the Boxers’ only returner at attack and stands ready to step in at low attack.  Smouse played in all 13 games and started five, finishing the year with eight goals.  “She is very good with her stick and is constantly observing,” Lobel said.

Abby Talboy (Fr., Boise, Idaho) joins the program for the first time following the basketball season.  Lobel said she will benefit the Boxers with her ability to move quickly off the ball and her prowess in gaining possessions.

Both April Lanz (Fr., Oregon City, Ore.) and Sarah Steele (Fr., Mission Viejo, Calif.) join the program with solid high school credentials.  Lanz was an all-state selection at Oregon City High School and was a four-sport athlete.  “April is extremely smart, extremely intelligent and likes the physicality of the game,” Lobel said.  “Who knows what kinds of things we will see on the field because she learns so quickly.”

Steele was a three-time all-league selection as a defender and finished her senior season as an All-American scholar through U.S. Lacrosse.  “She is like a Tasmanian devil,” Lobel said.  “She is fast and unpredictable, yet she is smart on and off the field.”


NCAA Div III Lacrosse: “Lacrosse Magazine Women’s 2014 Preseason Top 20” Features Salisbury #1 Followed By Cortland, Trinity, Middleton And Franklin & Marshall

NCAA Div III Women's Lacrosse

After avenging a loss in the 2012 NCAA title game with a 12-5 win over Trinity last May to capture its second NCAA championship, the Salisbury University Sea Gulls open 2014 as Lacrosse Magazine’s preseason No. 1 for NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse.
Salisbury, which went a perfect 23-0 a year ago, returns first-team All-America selections Ashton Wheatley (G) and Bethany Baer (M) along with second-team honoree Meghan Toomey (D) and several other key players under reigning IWLCA Division III Coach of the Year Jim Nestor.
Cortland, led by IWLCA Defender of the Year Jessica Lavelle, comes in at No. 2 this spring after making the NCAA semifinals in 2013. Trinity, which eliminated the Red Dragons in the semifinals before falling to Salisbury in the title game, is No. 3.

Lacrosse Magazine NCAA DIII Women’s Preseason Top 20

1. Salisbury
2. Cortland
3. Trinity
4. Middlebury
5. Franklin & Marshall
6. Gettysburg
8. Colby
9. Bowdoin
10. Geneseo
11. RPI
12. York
13. Amherst
14. Susquehanna
15. Hamilton
16. Christopher Newport
17. Ithaca
18. Brockport
19. Fredonia
20. Stevenson

NCAA Div III Lacrosse: “Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Men’s Top 20” Ranks Stevenson #1 Followed By RIT, Cortland, Salisbury And Dickinson

NCAA Men's Lacrosse Div III

After capturing the school’s first NCAA championship in any sport, Stevenson enters 2014 atop Lacrosse Magazine’s NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse rankings.
The Mustangs return defensive anchors like goalie Dimitri Pecunes and first-team All-American defenseman Kyle Holechek and second-team All-American attackman Chris Dashiell from a team that lost just two games a year ago, each by one goal.
An equally stacked RIT team stands at No. 2 after last year’s NCAA runner-up showing, bringing back most of the roster that helped the Tigers set school records for goals (321) and points (503) last spring.

Lacrosse Magazine NCAA Division III Men’s Preseason Top 20

1. Stevenson
2. RIT
3. Cortland
4. Salisbury
5. Dickinson
6. Tufts
7. Cabrini
8. Roanoke
9. Washington College
10. Western New England
11. Nazareth
12. Lynchburg
13. Washington & Lee
14. Stevens
15. Denison
16. St. Mary’s
17. Ithaca
18. Wesleyan
19. Widener
20. Gettysburg

Lacrosse Recruiting: “Four Key Tips In Navigating Ivy And D3 College Recruiting” By Tom Kovic

Four Key Tips in Navigating Ivy and D3 College Recruiting

As a former Ivy League head coach, I was blessed with a successful career and many fond memories. Considering the selectivity in admissions and the high price tag of an Ivy League institution, my recruiting yields were consistently strong and I learned valuable lessons about prospects and the potential benefits they can receive in the admissions process.

Ivy League and D-3 college coaches are unable to offer athletic scholarships to prospects, but they can significantly influence the admissions process that can lend strong support to prospective student-athletes. That aside, it is important that prospects, families and high school advisors clearly understand the nuts and bolts of this process and make every effort to grow honest and strong working relationships with college coaches.

Admissions Index In many cases, academic select colleges use an “Admissions Index” that objectively analyzes a student’s academic qualifications. The AI is simply determined by combining core grade point average with standardized tests results (SAT I, SAT II, ACT).

A perfect Admissions Index would reflect impeccable scores on standardized tests and a top class rank at a prestigious high school with brilliant academic credentials. The lowest Admissions Index (The Floor) that is acceptable in Ivy League and D-3 Admissions will vary, depending on the school, division and conference).

Banding Typically, college sports program will be awarded an arbitrary number of “admissions support slots” to be used by the coaches to support athletic candidates. More popular sports tend to receive more “select” admission slots and in many cases, athletic directors will “tier” sports depending on the popularity and the level of success the team earns at the conference, regional and national level.

Athletic departments are encouraged to maintain an average student-athlete admissions yield that is no less than one standard deviation below the average AI for regularly admitted students. Many colleges have developed a system that subdivides the broader AI range into “bands” to assist coaches in recruiting prospects that potentially fall within coach’s allotment of support for any given recruiting cycle.

The number of admission slots coaches are allotted varies from sport to sport and college to college and based on the level of support, a coach’s recruiting strategy will be well-planned, systematic and precise. In addition, coaches are well aware that certain prospects will not be admitted, despite their level of athleticism if they are not up to the academic challenge at the institution.

Admissions Pre-Reads An admissions pre-read can provide prospects with a fairly accurate AI and a clearer idea of their chances in admissions. Coach will need a copy of your high school profile, transcripts and test results from the SAT and/or ACT. Following an early read, a good college coach will advise the prospect clearly to his chances in admissions and if the recruiting process should advance. Turnaround time for a pre-read is about 2 weeks and this information will help avoid “spinning of wheels” for the family, prospect and the college coach, especially if admission seems unlikely.

Likely Letters Likely letters are “near guarantees” of admission that can be sent to prospective student-athletes well before the regular population of applicants are read. The “likely” is a tremendous tool for college coaches who are competing with scholarship institutions for the same prospect, or “overlap” prospects who are applying to other Ivy League or D-3 institutions. Likely letters are limited to certain institutions, originate from the admissions office and offer families near-assurance and confidence that, barring any unusual circumstances, the prospect will be admitted.

Academic select institutions will admit a limited number of student-athletes who bring strong qualities that are identified as “important” to the admissions table. It is fair to point out that athletes, although identified as having a special talent, will be treated as any other candidate and will be admitted only if the applicants AI is in an acceptable range and they are capable of succeeding academically. That being said, talented student-athletes who offer solid academic credentials and have the ability to strongly impact an athletics program may be considered very favorably in Ivy League and D-3 college admissions.

Tom Kovic is a former 19-year head coach at the University of Pennsylvania and the current President of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families throughout the college recruiting process. Tom is the author of “Reaching for Excellence, an educational guide for college athletics recruiting”. For further information, visit: www.victoryrecruiting.com.

NCAA Div III Lacrosse: Wesleyan Men’s Lacrosse 2014 Schedule Features RPI, Union, Middlebury, Amherst, Williams, Trinity, Tufts And Bowdoin

Wesleyan Men's Lacrosse BannerWesleyan Men's Lacrosse 2014 Schedule

NCAA Div III Lacrosse: Swarthmore Women’s Lacrosse 2014 Schedule Features Bryn Mawr, Ursinus, Cabrini, Gettysburg, Muhlenberg, Dickinson, Washington College And Haverford

Swarthmore Women's Lacrosse BannerSwarthmore Women's Lacrosse 2014 Schedule

NCAA Div III Lacrosse: Swarthmore Men’s Lacrosse 2014 Schedule Features Vassar, Ursinus, Haverford, Gettysburg, Dickinson And Washington College

Swarthmore Men's Lacrosse BannerSwarthmore Men's Lacrosse 2014 Schedule

NCAA Div III Lacrosse: Washington College Women’s Lacrosse 2014 Schedule Features Rowan, Dickinson, Haverford, Gettysburg And Swarthmore

Washington College Women's LacrosseWashington College Women's Lacrosse 2014 Schedule