Mike Orefice didn’t plan on becoming one of the area’s premier faceoff specialists.
While growing up, the Iona Prep sophomore was content on being an offensive midfielder.
But soon, Orefice found taking faceoffs put him in the center of the action.
Now, it’s earned him a scholarship to one of the nation’s leading Division I programs: Loyola University. The 5-foot-10, 150-pound Orefice has given a verbal commitment to the Greyhounds.
What were the main factors in your decision?
I’ve always liked the Baltimore, Md., area. Right from the minute I pulled into Loyola’s parking lot, I knew It was going to be a great day. The campus was beautiful, the student-to-faculty ratio, small classes and excellent academics all played a major role in my decision. The lacrosse program is outstanding. The team, coaches and facilities are top notch.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I considered many other schools in my commitment process. I was indirectly contacted by UNC, Fairfield, Villanova, Hofstra, Ohio State, Salisbury and Georgetown.
How did you get into taking faceoffs and how have you worked on developing your faceoff skills? What camps have you attended?
Since fourth grade, I was always a just straight offense midfield player.
During the those middle school years, I started playing on several travel teams such as Team Superstar and Team Head, Heart and Hustle, along with my town Eastchester Blue Devil team. They would just ask who wanted to take a faceoff, I loved being in the center of the battle for possession. I realized early how important it was to win the faceoff and get it to my offense and keep possession.
Throughout the next 3-4 years, I started studying the faceoff and made friends with some great faceoff kids who helped me and inspired me. I decided from that point on that I needed to be that guy who could win the faceoff and get the ball in the offensive zone. My team could count on me.
I began training with MLL faceoff specialist Chris Eck of the Boston Cannons. From there, I began to go to every camp possible. When freshman year came around, I kept on training hard and working to be the best I could be for my team, my coach, for me and my family.
Since I was only a freshman, I knew that in order to be on the field, I needed to work hard. The summer going into sophomore year I trained alongside some of the best faceoff kids in the country under Chris Eck, Alex Smith, and John Ortolani.
What areas of your game have you been working to improve on?
I have been told many times by my (Iona Prep) Coach Rick Trizano that I need to stay on the field to help in case while running off with the LSM, the other team decided to triple-team the ball. I also need to work on my accuracy as I am coming down the field from a fastbreak win off the faceoff. I’m still learning about the game and I’m always trying to raise my lacrosse IQ.
Who have been some of the biggest influences on you during your development as a player?
All of my coaches, Rick Trizano of Iona Prep, Roy Colsey of Team Superstar, John Devito and Kyle Devito of Team Superstar, Joe Pash of the Eastchester Blue Devils, Justin Otto of Team TopSide, and Brian Dooley of Head, Heart and Hustle, my teammates and of course Alex Smith, Chris Eck, and John Ortolani, whom I will continue to train with. I always watch their games and films before I go out for a game or warm up to make sure I’m not getting lazy with anything.
My parents who have helped me each week, and my younger brother Christopher for being my faceoff partner at home, have also been big influences as well as my grandparents, who push me to be a better player.
What were some of the big showcase events you participated in last summer?
Jake Reed Blue Chip, 3D Blue Chip, Ct. Super-Sophs, UNC Sophomore Camp, Blue Chip 225, Hofstra Blue and Gold, Lehigh Laxfest.
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