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Mike Marino is the kind of midfielder college coaches crave.
The rising junior at two-time defending Suffolk County (NY) Class A champion Smithtown East is equally effective on offense as he is on defense.
The righty uses his athleticism to make contributions at both ends of the field, including in his ability to get groundballs.
That versatility made Marino a target of several Division I programs. He verbally committed last week to Binghamton, a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
He is a three-sport standout for the Bulls, who also wrestles and plays football.
What were the main factors in your decision?
I wanted the right choice for me academically and athletically. These were big factors.
The academic reputation of Binghamton played a major factor.
I want to go into business and BU has one of the top-rated undergraduate business schools.
Of course, lacrosse-wise, there is no matching (Head) Coach (Scott) Nelson. He has so much knowledge and has built up a great program.
The atmosphere there is great and there is a lot of support, on and off the field.
The facilities are outstanding as well.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I considered Army (my brother plays there), Navy, Stony Brook, Fairfield, Bryant and Vermont.
Have you decided what academic major you plan to pursue?
I would like to pursue a degree in Accounting or Finance.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I would describe myself as a physical player. … Tough and very strong. I enjoy playing both the offensive and defensive sides of the midfield position. I also love the challenge of getting groundballs.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
This past summer I have been working a lot on my outside shop and shooting on the run.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse?
I have two older brothers who play so that pretty much sealed the deal for me.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I travel with my high school team, Smithtown East, and also play for the Long Island Outlaws 2017 Select team.
This past summer I participated in: North American High School Lacrosse Cup – Yorktown, North American HS Cup at SUNY Purchase, Under Armour Shootout, National High School Lacrosse Showcase (NHSLS), National 175 Best of the Best Club Team Showcase, Inside Lacrosse Recruiting Series, Crab City Challenge, National Lacrosse Invitational at Ward Mellville and Crimson Lax Summer High School Classic at Harvard University.
Any final thoughts and people you want to thank for helping you reach this point?
First and foremost, I would thank my parents. Even though they had two sons before me who went through the craziness of lacrosse and the summer and fall tournament circuit, showcases, prospect days and visits, they kept up the stamina and supported me the whole way through.
My brothers also helped me a lot. We spent endless ours in our backyard with them running me into the ground.
If they weren’t around, then one of their friends always was.
My high school coach, Coach (Jason) Lambert, always supported me and made me want to work harder and get stronger and faster.
Lastly, I would thank Coach (Scott) Nelson from Binghamton for giving me this opportunity and believing in me.
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