Gary Mercadante Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach @ Delaware Valley University Interview

Gary Mercadante was named the first-ever men’s lacrosse head coach in Delaware Valley history on August 12, 2013. After spending the first year organizing the program an Delaware Valleyd recruiting, he has led the squad to 13 wins and one conference playoff appearance in just two seasons of competition. Mercadante led the 2015 edition to five wins – the most victories by an Aggie team in any sport in their inaugural season. They won the program’s first-ever game, an 8-7 triumph over Immaculata University, and produced victories in three of its first four games. Prior to coming to Delaware Valley, Mercadante spent four years as a full-time assistant coach at nearby Ursinus College. He was the defensive coordinator for the Bears and also coached the man down unit as well as running the substitution box. Mercadante also served as the team’s academic, budget, recruiting and video editing/software coordinator.

  1. What do you look for in a recruit? What type of player best fits your program?

While evaluating on the field we always look for athleticism and consistent effort.  We play a fast tempo style of lacrosse and want players who can sustain that effort and intensity for 60+ minutes.  Players tend to evaluate their own play based on the time they spend with the ball or covering the ball, but this is only a small percentage of the game.  I always make a point to watch off-ball to see if a player does the little things consistently well.  Among many others, these can include setting screens, back cutting, chasing out shots, winning GBs, picking off passes in a skip lane, and being in position to cover two players at once. Once the recruiting process begins, we spend a lot of time getting to know student-athletes and their families.  We want great people who want to leave our University and program a better place than when they got here.

  1. What is the best way for players to get on your recruiting radar?

Have a plan.  If you are interested in a school, reach out to the coach with a personal email. Let us know why you are interested and where you will be playing (tournaments, club team, etc.). Do your research. I am impressed when I speak with a student-athlete who is knowledgeable about our university, what we offer, and our program. It demonstrates you have taken the time to educate yourself about us and have a legitimate interest in the school and our team.

  1. What areas of player development should recruits be focused on?

There is a lot of pressure on young players right now to focus all their time and effort strictly on lacrosse.  Be an athlete!  Multi-sport players demonstrate stronger IQ’s and develop quicker as athletes.  Some of the best players I have coached were two sport athletes in high school competing in sports such as football, hockey, and basketball.  The skills they acquired from these sports helped them immensely on the lacrosse field.  Lastly, your stick should be an extension of your arm.  Commit to the wall on a weekly basis with fun and realistic wall ball routines.

  1. What common recruiting mistakes should players and parents avoid?

In navigating the landscape of college recruiting, it is important to view it as a job process.  You are currently building your resume and everything you do as a student-athlete on and off the field is a part of that resume.  Before you even search for the job you must first do a few important things: A phone call is our primary point of contact with student-athletes. Start by creating a simple, mature voicemail.  College coaches will call you on your phone and you want to leave a strong first impression.  Also, make sure your voicemail is not full.  Eventually a coach will stop calling if they are unable to get in touch with you and cannot leave a voicemail. This sounds very simple, but happens much more than people would think.  Second, create an email account with an easy to use address that you can use for tournaments and college coaches.  Do not use your parent’s email address. Take ownership of the college search process.  Players often make the mistake of mass emailing us through recruiting services or having their parents send emails for them.  An email from a parent on behalf of a student-athlete is a big red flag.  The student-athlete will take on all the responsibility once they get to the college level and it does not project well when a parent does everything for the them.

  1. What should a recruit include in a message to you that will draw your attention?

We pride ourselves on responding to every personal email we receive.  A well written email from a student-athlete that shows genuine interest in our University and program gets our immediate attention.  Don’t be afraid to promote your success as a student and athlete.  Lastly, include a highlight film.  The quicker we can evaluate your play, the sooner we can begin the recruiting process.

 

ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by Gary Mercadante or Delaware Valley University Interview

Report: Hopkins Protests Northwestern Game, Controversial Late Goal

Johns Hopkins coach Janine Tucker has formally filed a protest with the Big Ten Conference, according to the Baltimore Sun’s Kathy Dunn.

The protest asserts that the goal in question came after time had expired in the March 30th tilt. The Sheila Nesselbush shot, which was ruled a goal by the referees onsite, pushed the game into overtime — a period in which the Wildcats struck first, ultimately taking home the 10-9 overtime win.

A closer look at the shot in slow motion shows that the ball is still in Nesselbush’s stick as time had expired. The NCAA rule book, Section 9c, stipulates that “a goal is not scored when the ball enters the goal after the whistle has blown or the horn sounds.”

According to Dunn, this is the first time Janine Tucker has protested a game in her illustrious 24 year career at the helm of the Blue Jays.

“The protest rules exist for this very reason. I am hopeful that by following the protocol to protest the outcome of this game, something good can come from all of this,” Tucker told the Baltimore Sun.

She continued: “I felt compelled, given the situation, the video evidence, just knowing that it was physically impossible for a person to throw a ball that far in that amount of time, and I needed to fight for my team.”

On March 31st, we posted a slow-motion clip of the shot in question and asked fans if they thought the shot was a goal or not. An overwhelming 80% of fans voted “no goal.”

River Hawks Face 10-7 Set Back Against AE Foe New Hampshire

LOWELL, Mass. – With an assist at 18:28 in the first half, sophomore Jane Dudley (Duxbury, Mass.) established a new single season program record with her career-high 26th point. Despite her efforts, the UMass Lowell women’s lacrosse team dropped to 6-4 overall and 0-2 in conference play, after being clipped by New Hampshire (2-10, 2-1 AE) in America East action on Wednesday evening.

Dudley tallied three points (1g, 2a,) en route to her record setting performance, notching her 10th multi-point game of 2017. Additionally, the sophomore’s 14 assists so far this season surpass former River Hawk Jesse Jay for first place in the record books.

Junior goalkeeper Courtney Barrett (South Burlington, Vt.) racked up 12 saves in the tilt, while pacing the team with five ground balls and two caused turnovers.

“Today was a tough one, as we were looking to continue to defend our home turf,” said Head Coach Carissa Medeiros. “We did fairly well in the first half, but let go of some of our controllables in the second half, as some of our continuous mistakes came back to haunt us. New Hampshire did a good job capitalizing on our mistakes, we just have to make sure we can execute our game plan.”

A tightly contested first half swayed in favor of UMass Lowell, who carried a slight, 4-3, edge after 30 minutes of play. New Hampshire later over came two-goal second half deficit thanks to a 6-0 run that provided the Wildcats with a late lead they would fail to relinquish.

Junior attack Austin Trasatti (Doylestown, Pa.) and sophomores Dudley, Rebecca Idson (East Atlantic Beach, N.Y.) and Kendyl Finelli (Southborough, Mass.) netted a goal apiece to contribute to the River Hawks’ the fist half lead. Dudley and Trasatti broke open the scoring with back-to-back goals at 28:53 and 27:47, respectively, before the Wildcats Devon Croke made it a 2-1 contest. Idson later provided her team with a two-goal cushion, 3-1, when she tacked on her 21st goal of the season at 18:28. New Hampshire would soon fight back to knot the game 3-3, but a late goal by Finelli would lift the River Hawks to a 4-3 advantage with 39 seconds remaining.

UMass Lowell managed to grab an early 6-4 edge in the final half, after outscoring their opponents, 2-1, in the opening minutes. The River Hawks were led by Finelli and Trasatti who picked up their second goals of the contest with unassisted scores.

The Wildcats went on to string together six consecutive goals, aiding the themselves to comfortable 9-6 lead. During the run, New Hampshire snagged their first lead of the game, 7-6, on a breakaway by Devan Miller at 14:06.

Junior attack Kaylan DiModugno (Deer Park, N.Y.) looked to give her team a spark when she cut the deficit to 10-7 with 4:15 remaining. DiMudugno spilt a pair of defenders before bringing her team within three, but a New Hampshire defense held strong as they blanked the River Hawks in the final minutes to secure the 10-7 victory.

UMass Lowell is back in action on Saturday, April 8 against conference foe UAlbany. The contest is slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. at Wicked Blue Turf.

Two Sport Athlete

If you ask any college athlete they will tell you playing a sport in college is equivalent to having a full time job. Playing one sport is hard enough let alone trying to multitask two sports. Kenzie Kent is one of the very few superior athletes that is capable of managing two sports in college. Kenzie plays hockey and lacrosse for Boston College and she contributes incredibly at both.  Kenzie helped Boston College’s hockey team make it to the national semifinal but would lose to Wisconsin 1-0. After that devastating lose she carries that pain and motivation onto the turf filed as she begins her lacrosse season. What Kenzie is accomplishing ispurely amazing considering the fact that she plays two sports that happen back to back. Hockey can be very demanding of someones body and then to jump right into lacrosse, well that shows passion for how much she truly loves these sports. Hockey runs from September through March and lacrosse runs from March to May, so the amount of wear and tear that Kenzie places on her body is astonishing. She always Continue reading…

Ethan Bell (’18 Goalie) Commits to Bridgewater College!

CONGRATULATIONS Ethan Bell on your big decision to play D3 Lacrosse at Bridgewater College!

Ethan is a goalie for Kellam High School and 757 Select. He will be attending Bridgewater College after his graduation next spring. He considered other schools such as Christopher Newport University and Lebanon Valley College, but ultimately decided that Bridgewater would be the best choice to excel in both lacrosse and academics. He would like to thank his parents and all of his coaches for their continued support over the years of his lacrosse career.

Chase LaDrido’s Makes Final Decision

Chase LaDrido is 14 years old and has already made a commitment of where he wants to play lacrosse after high school. Chase decided to go with Johns Hopkins and Chase became the first west coast player of the 2020 class to commit to a Division 1 men’s lacrosse. Chase’s biggest reason for committing so soon was because of the agony of a high school recruiting process. Anyone who has been recruited out of high school knows this process all to well. The numerous phone calls, the constant promises, and the why our program is better. This can take a lot out of a high school student when they are trying to focus on grades and also improving their game for the next level. The NCAA are working elegantly on passing rule that would ban college coaches communicating with student athletes until their junior year and this could happen as soon as April. Chase’s parents are happy with his decision and think it will make it easier on Chase. They believe that not worrying about applying and making college visits will allow their son to dedicate more time improving in class and on the field.

Lane Tourtellot (’17 Defense/LSM) Commits to Guilford College!

Lets hear it for Lane Tourtellot! As a senior at Needham Broughton High School, Lane has committed to play Division 3 Lacrosse at Guilford College! The Brine All-American also considered the lacrosse programs at Hampton-Sydney and Bridgewater. However, he ultimately chose the Guilford Quakers because he can participate in strong academics while also playing lacrosse at a high level.

How Early is too Early

Nowadays it’s normal to have a phenom freshmen on your team in any college sport. Usually you think of a senior being the vocal leader and carrying the team, but now freshmen can be expected to also carry this role. Although phenom freshmen may be a norm, it is controversial when the recruiting process should begin for these young stars. Bay Shore attack man Brennan O’Neill has committed to play lacrosse for Penn State in 2021 and Brennan is only a 13 year old eighth grader. Brennan is not the only one who has committed at an early age. Caitlyn Wurzburger and Justin Brown who were both in middle school committed to play college lacrosse. The reason coaches are recruiting this young is because they look at it as an advantage over their competitors.

Although it is illegal for college recruits to communicate with athletes until their junior year of high school, many college recruits are using a loop hole. Instead of contacting the Continue reading…

The Legacy Behind the 376th Win

Coach Krzyzewski might be the first coach you think of when you think of Duke, but John Danowski is just as important or more. Before Coach Danowski came to Duke they were in turmoil due to three players being falsely accused of rape charges. As soon as Danowski took over he made sure that turmoil was put in the past and he quickly moved on. Danowski dominate start began at LIU-C.W Post where he was an assistant head coach. During his time as an assistant head coach it was a bit of a struggle financially, making only $4,000 and requiring his wife and him to live off meal passes for the semester. He would later go on to become the head coach at LIU Post and would have a record of 27-16. He would then become the head coach of Hofstra and would completely change the atmosphere, turning them into a powerhouse by piling up 192 wins. Danowski’s accomplishments didn’t go unnoticed at Hofstra, winning the F. Morris Touchstone Award for the Division 1 Coach of the Year. Along his journey  Continue reading…

PJ Lombara (’17 Attack) Commits to Muhlenberg College!!

Let’s give a big round of applause for PJ Lombara after his big decision to play lacrosse at Muhlenberg College!! After considering both Trinity College and Saint Anselm College, PJ ultimately decided that Mulenberg “was the best fit for [him] academically, athletically and [he] really liked the campus and the coaching staff”. PJ will join the Mules next season after his graduation this year from St. John’s Prep.