Sunday, May 17, 2015

Goalie Win Championships

Travis Solomon in action in the 1983 championship SU vs Hopkins
Larry Quinn in action in the 1985 championship game SU vs Hopkins
 A hot goalie is key to winning a big game. One of the greatest goalie stories is Syracuse's (SU) Solomon who replaced starter Tom Nims who suffered a season ending separated shoulder early in the season in a game against Maryland in 1983. Travis played hot the rest of that season in root to SU's first national championship. He;s best describe as stopper with a great outlet space that helped cuse fast break its way into the finals. Hopkins won national championships in 1984 and 1985 with All American and later Hall Fame Larry Quinn in goal. I later played with Larry in championships with Long Island Lacrosse Club, Maryland Lacrosse Club, and the 1990 U. S. National Team. Larry made playing defense easy and also had a great outlet pass. His nickname was the Door and he shut the door on alot of great shooters. As a youth coach I recommend putting your best athlete, stick handler, and leader in the goalie position. He or she is your teams quarterback and they thus need to be both a great player and a great communicator.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

“Stay On His Gloves!"

Fred Opie # 34 in a 1985 game in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse against North Carolina. 
I gave up lacrosse following my senior year at Syracuse and second consecutive year of losing to John Hopkins in the National Championship game.  My return to lacrosse started at the once premier summer tournament in Glastonbury Connecticut. Jamesville Dewitt alum (a school in the Suburbs of Syracuse ) who played at Cornell invited me to play with a Cornell team that had a spattering of SU players. I went back to the basics remember Coach John Desko's advice to me. I had asked him my first year at SU what I could do to improve my game, and he responded, “Stay on his gloves! [translation, stop throwing so many take away checks and square up!]." That’s a problem I see among too many even top division 1 players—they play to much defense with their stick and not enough with their feet—shuffle, drop step, catch up, and then we can talk about checks! 

My College, Club, and U. S. Team Players and Coaches

Saturday, May 2, 2015

You Will Be Better Off If You Finish

Buzz (Christ Burt, Lawrenceville Prep), Me, and OD (Mike O’Donnell, Yorktown) “trying” to cover Hopkins middies and attackman during our loss to John Hopkins in the 1985 NCAA Championship game at Brown University
After a crushing lost to Hopkins for the second year in a row in the 1985 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse finals, I stopped playing feeling burnt out and feeling like the sport had taken on too much importance in my life. Perhaps thats why some players never complete their degrees requirements; lacrosse was more important than their course work. They played four years of ball and now they are ready to move on. That happens all over the country in many sports. In my case, in May of 1985 I was nine credits short of graduating. We returned Syracuse from the championship game in Rhode Island on a long bus ride. I backed my car up on campus and returned to Westchester to take an anatomy and physiology course at Westchester Community College in summer.  Next I then registrared for a student teaching course at Pace University in White Plains; that’s all I needed to do to graduate. I was the first one in my family to earn a college degree. What a difference nine credits has made on my career opportunities. Complete your degree requirements you will be better off in the long term.