So you thought the final week of the calendar year would allow lacrosse players throughout the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut tristate area a little bit of downtime before starting — or, in most cases, re-starting — rigorous preseason training and condition.
While that’s true, some standouts from the region have made even more worthwhile use of the days in between the holidays.
If you’ve been following Twitter.com/joe_lombardi in the last 24 hours, you learned of two major verbal commitments.
Most recently, Lakeland/Panas (NY) junior attackman Brian Prunty has committed to Siena, where he’ll join his brother, Conor, who’s a sophomore midfielder. Be sure to check back for Brian’s thoughts on his commitment.
But now, we’ll hear from another Hudson Valley standout who made his college choice.
Brandon Donnellan, an all-America senior long-stick midfielder/defender for Warwick Valley, has decided to stay close to home, verballing to Pace University in Pleasantville.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound lefty is an athletic player with good speed, takeaway ability and ball-handling skills.
He was one of three all-Americans selected from the Hudson Valley region last spring, along with Minisink Valley freshman attackman Joe Sessa and Valley Central senior midfielder Rob Penney.
What were the main factors in your decision?
Factors such as location, distance from home, scholarship money, and my chances of getting a lot of time on the field really influenced my choice. Also a big considering factor is Pace’s outstanding, nationally ranked internship program. That also helped make my decision.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I was considering Marywood University, Endicott and Fordham. I visited both Marywood and Endicott.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My greatest strengths are my speed and ball-handling skills, which is why coaches like me as a LSM. They see me as a player who can pick up a ground ball and bring them down the fields to initiate the fast break or the offense.
My playing style is more tactical and passive then one of a larger, more aggressive defender. Because I do not have a very large mass, I use my feet and my stick skills to make up for it.
What areas of your game have you been working to improve on?
Two areas I am always improving on are my off hand and my on-ball defending. Each of these always has room for improvement.
Who have been some of the biggest influences on you during your development as a player?
My largest influences mainly come from two places.
That first one being my high school varsity coach, Greg McElroy, who always knew since I was a freshman trying out for the team that I wanted to become the best player I could be. He has taught me a lot about the game and has prepared me for my time at the collegiate level.
Secondly, my parents are the ones who believed in my playing the most. When games didn’t go our way or I made a mistake, I could always count on them to help me mentally prepare for the next opportunity. They always told me, regardless of what others say, to play my game and everything will fall into place.
What travel team did you play on and what were some of the big showcase events you participated in last summer?
I played for the Hudson Valley Express travel team and we have played at the Harvard, UMass, Yale and Lehigh tournaments.
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