It’s a reflection on the changing landscape of the lacrosse recruiting process that the 2014 high school season has yet to start, yet there are now 12 freshmen from the nation’s No. 1 hotspot for lacrosse, the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut tristate region, that have already committed to Division I programs.
The latest came earlier this week as Joe Lombardi broke the news on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section that South Side High School (N.Y.) defender/longstick midfielder Joe LiCalzi gave a verbal commitment to Georgetown University.
The 5-foot-11, 145-pound LiCalzi is a lefty with strong stick skills and a high lacrosse iQ. You can watch his highlight reel here.
LiCalzi, a native of Rockville Centre, N.Y., plays travel lacrosse for Team 91 Orange 2017. He also plays for South Side’s summer team – Rock Lax.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Joe on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
Georgetown University is an excellent school where I can get a top-notch education while also playing great lacrosse.
After visiting the campus a couple of times, I really felt comfortable and loved the location. The coaching staff was also a main factor in my decision. (Georgetown Head) Coach (Kevin) Warne, along with (Assistant) Coach (Matt) Rewkowski and (Assistant) Coach (Brian) Phipps, really impressed me and I was able to see myself being a Hoya.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I visited and strongly considered Johns Hopkins University.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I pride myself on my stick handling and lacrosse IQ. I try to disrupt offensives with pickoffs and knockdowns. I also do my best to get the ball up and off the ground quickly to push the offense in transition to create fastbreak opportunities.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
I need to continue to work on every aspect of my game – groundballs, handle and positioning. Most importantly, I need to work on the physical aspect of the game and improve my strength, size and athleticism.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
Lacrosse is a big sport in Rockville Centre, N.Y. My older brother plays lacrosse, so I was introduced to the sport at a very young age and I immediately fell in love with it. I have always played basketball and football and continue to play football in high school.
What showcase events did you participate in?
In the fall, I played for Team 91 in the Cottle Fall Lax Invitational, the Fall Terrapin Classic and the Philly Showcase. In the summer of 2013, I also had the honor of being a member of the 2017 Long Island North Brine National Lacrosse Classic team.
Any final thoughts?
First, I want to thank my family – my parents, two brothers and my sister. They have always been very supportive and helped me with my decision.
I also want to thank my coaches. Jimmy Mule and Brian Spallina of Team 91 have taught me how to play the game the right way. I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to play for and learn from the both of them.
I would also like to thank my varsity head coach Steve DiPietro and the rest of the South Side High School lacrosse coaching staff. I played for Coach DiPietro’s summer travel organization – RVC Futures – for a number of years and it has been instrumental in my development especially since the coaches in the organization are alumni of South Side.
Finally, I would like to thank Coach Pat McCabe of Icon Lacrosse for working with me since sixth grade – not only did his drills and training help improve my stick skills and positioning, but he also always stressed the importance of being a smart lacrosse player.
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