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Lake De La Fuente has yet to start his sophomore year in high school.
But already, the the Class of 2019 two-way midfielder at Westlake HS (TX) has had a chance to visit nearly a dozen Division I campuses.
After traversing the campuses, mainly east of the Mississippi River, De La Fuente has settled on a choice: Cornell University and its admissions process, a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The 5-foot-11, 155-pound De La Fuente, a righty, has a combination of skills to go along with outstanding speed. (He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds.)
A gifted scorer, he has a strong and accurate shot and is an effective shooter on the run.
What were the main factors in your decision?
Cornell is the complete package for me. It has a storied lacrosse program and offers an incredible education. I really liked how (Head) Coach (Matt) Kerwick made me feel at home right away.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Brown and Notre Dame were also in my top three. Over the past 45 days, my dad and I visited 11 different D-I programs. Most were informal, which allowed me to see the campus and its culture on a normal day.
Have you decided what academic major you plan to pursue?
Business — leaning toward Finance
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My dodging and ability to create offense for my team. My signature shot is down the alley on the run. I love to push the ball and keep constant pressure on the defense that leads to them making mistakes and our team taking advantage of them.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
Every aspect needs to improve. My goal is to be an All-American both in high school and college. To get to that level, I will need to push myself each and every day.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
My dad used to work with twin brothers, Matt and Andy Enright, from Long Island who had moved to Austin. As former lacrosse players, they told my dad to get me into lacrosse. So he looked into it and signed me up. Without them, I don’t think I would be playing lacrosse today.
Regarding sports, I feel like I have played them all. I played soccer, basketball, and flag football on travel teams. I played tackle football, baseball and ran track too.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
For a few years I have played with Texas United (Stickstar) and more recently Iron Horse.
This summer I did Maverick Showtime and Jake Reed Nike Blue Chip. Last summer I did Jake Reed Nike Blue Chip too.
All together, my summer 2016 lacrosse schedule had me playing over 40 games across 45 days. It was very challenging for me as a two-way midfielder. I really had to push myself mentally and physically.
Any final thoughts and people you want to thank for helping you reach this point?
I have to thank three coaches in particular. Coach Mitch Belisle, who I met at his Aces of the South camp, for being a huge supporter of mine. He is the one who wrote my recommendation for the Nike Blue Chip tryout. That opportunity allowed me to go east and play against the toughest competition and push myself to become a better lacrosse player.
The second is Coach Anthony Crimmins of Stickstar Lacrosse (Texas United). He was my first exposure to a players coach. It was an amazing experience to have his support and guidance. He really allowed me to develop as a player by not making feel bad for making mistakes.
Last but not least, Coach Dom Fin, who just makes me feel like a million dollars every time I see him. He constantly builds me up and tells me that I can be great. Without him, I wouldn’t have made Maverick Showtime. Austin Texas lacrosse is lucky to have such an awesome coach. All three of them mean a lot to me.
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