As a faceoff specialist, Andrew Walsh knows all about making quick adjustments.
By committing to the University of Maryland this week, he’s making his biggest one yet.
Walsh, who helped Bronxville advance to the state semifinals for the second straight year, was planning on spending a post-grad year in prep school.
But those plans have changed and Walsh is now set to start the fall as a collegiate freshman with the Terrapins, who have made back-to-back appearance in the national title game.
Here’s a Q&A with Andrew on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
The academic fit, lacrosse program and coaching staff were the top three factors. I loved Maryland’s energized style of play and wanted to be part of a program that can win a national title. Coach (John) Tillman has been very supportive and is regarded as the best in the business. I really liked the idea of being at a school where lacrosse was a dominant sport.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I considered Syracuse, Duke, Loyola, Rutgers, Delaware and Brown. I visited Brown, Rutgers, Delaware and Maryland.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
The main component to my style of play is finding a way to win. My motto is never hesitate. I’m usually first to hit the ball and downright brutal when I don’t. My strengths are getting the ball forward and gaining possession as well as moving my opponent off the ball in a scrum.
How and when did you first start taking faceoffs and how have you gone about perfecting your skills in the faceoff X?
I entered the sport late in eighth grade. I started taking faceoffs then but didn’t get serious until 10th grade. Since 10th grade, once a week in the fall and spring, I would take 100 faceoffs against Peter Vhalakis, the MLL all-time faceoff win and percentage win record holder.
I’ve been the LI Sting’s top faceoff guy for the last two years playing eight tournaments, 60 games and taking 600 faceoffs during the summer.
I was the faceoff specialist for Bronxville for my three years of varsity lacrosse. I took over 300 faceoffs a year.
I attended the National Faceoff Combine and Alex Smith’s Faceoff Camp.
Who have been some of the biggest influences on you during your development as a player?
Ken Miller from the Long Island Sting had a huge influence on me. He gave me my first shot at playing competitive high school lacrosse and assisted me for three years on all aspects of the sport. He pushed me to get better grades and he showed me how much fun it was to play on a winning team. He provided invaluable advice throughout the entire recruiting process.
Peter Vlahakis taught me all aspects of the faceoff game. Over three years I battled him for thousands of faceoffs. Training with the best made me better, stronger and more confident. Peter started as a coach, but became a friend and followed my progress for three years. calling to see how each game went often coming to the games. We developed a close bond that only comes from mutual respect and being on the ground for hours of all out battles.
The biggest compliment I’ve ever received was when Peter started calling me to practice because he wanted to be in top form heading into his MLL season.
Tim Horgan, my Bronxville coach who built a top-notch lacrosse program in a few short years, which gave me a platform to showcase my skills.
My dad, who blew every one of those pregame faceoff whistles over three years and drove me thousands of miles up and down the east coast during the summer lacrosse circuit and stood in 100-degree fields all day. He recorded all off my faceoff wins and losses and evaluated all of my faceoffs from game tapes to find ways to help improve my game.
My mom who supported me the entire way, took me to games, traveled on college visits and most importantly providing me with advice.
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