Garden City will be in quest of an unprecedented second straight state title in 2013.
But the Trojans, who enjoyed an unbeaten season in 2012, will have some big holes to fill.
Including in goal, where Dan Marino came up big again and again throughout the regular season and postseason. Marino will be in the midst of his freshman season at the University of Virginia as Garden City decides on his successor.
There are two strong candidates.
We told you about rising junior Danny Dolan late last month when Dolan verbally committed to UMass.
Rising senior Matt Cortese will also be battling for the top spot.
As first reported last week at Twitter.com/joe_lombardi, Cortese has committed to Lafayette.
The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Cortese is a right-hander with quick hands and outstanding communication skills who is especially strong on shots from close range.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Matt on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
The biggest thing I looked for was where I felt I was going to be most comfortable. I was able to choose Lafayette because I knew I would be able to really enjoy myself from the second I got there. Being at a Liberal Arts school offers so many opportunities to a student, but having multiple Division I programs is just another plus.
I know how competitive the Patriot League is, and I could see that (Lafayette Head) Coach (Jim) Rogalski wants to bring the same level of intensity as I do to the field.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I visited Boston University, Dartmouth, Tufts and Amherst, but also considered Bowdoin and Middlebury.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I would say my hand speed and ability to communicate and direct a defense are my strong points. I find that I stick to some of the fundamentals of the game, but I still incorporate newer techniques whenever possible.
What areas of your game have you been working to improve on?
My clearing game would be the area where I should be focusing in on and trying to improve.
Who have been some of the biggest influences on you during your development as a player?
There have been many people who helped shape my game up until today. First off, Joe Guterding has helped me develop my game and learn the position since the day I started playing goalie. He still works with me, continuously trying to better my game. In addition to that, Tim O’Meara and the guys at Breakout Goaltending have worked with me over the years, which has also showed me different styles and other ways to approach my position.
My school and summer coaches have really influenced me as well. (Garden City Head) Coach (Steve) Finnell has done a great job molding me at the varsity level in Garden City. He and the rest of the coaching staff have really allowed for me to develop and change as a player.
(Long Island Sting) Coach (Ken) Miller has been hard on me for the past two summers, only because he knows that it will make me tougher and a better player. He’s been able to force me into making better decisions on the field, which has broadened all aspects of my game. Both Coach Finnell and Coach Miller helped me all the way through the recruiting process.
Being a part of this year’s Garden City lacrosse team was something very special. Having the opportunity to play behind Dan Marino was an honor for me. Watching him throughout the season taught me how to approach my game and how I should be making changes for myself. He was a great role model for both me and the team, and I’m glad I had the chance to experience that.
What travel team did you play on and what were some of the big showcase events you participated in this summer?
I played under Ken Miller for the Long Island Sting Black this summer. Some of the premier tournaments I attended with them were the Brine Shootout and Hotbeds. Besides those two, I attended a few camps this summer, including Nike Blue Chip, ECLC at Dartmouth, and National Invitational 175.
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