Face off, get off.


That description and that acronym say so much, and yet, so little.

After all, there are many so-called “FOGOs” whose skills go well beyond the faceoff circle.

Case in point, Zack Ornstein.

“I am not just a FOGO,” the Howell High School (N.J.) midfielder said.

After all, it was Ornstein who netted the winning goal in overtime in Howell’s 10-9 win over Manasquan in the first round of the Shore Conference Tournament.

“I have stick skills and field awareness,” Ornstein added. “I also work hard all the time, even if it just shooting in the backyard. I would describe myself as an unusual player. I’m not the player that the parents will say ‘Wow, he’s a superstar.’ I’m the player that the parents say ‘That faceoff kid is really outworking the other team.’ ”

The 5-foot-10, 168-pound Orstein will take his work ethic and skills that transcend faceoffs to Merrimack, a commitment that was first reported on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.

recruiting_updateNow, here’s a Q&A with Zack on his commitment.

What were the main factors in your decision?
I had three main factors in my decision.

First, academics. I want to focus on my studies and go pre-med so I wanted to focus on my education just as much as my field play.

Second of all, I wanted to play at the highest level of lacrosse possible. I couldn’t think of a program that competes more than Merrimack. Not only do the players work extremely hard,  the coaches work just as hard to make their program the best it can be.

Finally, if I didn’t play lacrosse, would I still want to be at the school? The minute I got to Merrimack, I was treated like family. There’s was not one thing I could say I didn’t like about the school.

Between the new facilities and the way I was treated everything felt just right. I also felt so welcome by the players on the lacrosse team.

What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I was considering High Point, Chestnut Hill and Desales University. I visited, Chestnut Hill and Desales University.

What area of your game do you need to work on?
I would like to work on my left hand to become  more of an impact player. I would also like to work on being more of an athlete, not just a lacrosse player

How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I was introduced to lacrosse in elementary school by my older brother Tyler, who is now a goalie at Desales University. I have played football which has helped with my athleticism, and wrestling, which helped my with faceoffs by helping me be able to scrap for the ball while I’m low and close to the ground.

What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for United Lacrosse in New Jersey. I have been to Black Card Showcase, many competitive tournaments with United, and box tournaments.

Any final thoughts?
I would really like to thank my United directors Steve Carcaterra and Ric Beardsley.  There is not a program that works harder to get their players to the next level.

I would like to give a special thanks to my parents who have been there for me throughout the entire process. I would also like to thank my high school coaches, Coach Bonjiavianni, Coach McCarthy, Coach Buckner, and my United coaches, Coach Farman and Coach Fossner.

I would like to thank my brother, Tyler more than anyone else. Without him always pushing me to be the best I can be and going in cage so I can shoot on him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Have a recruiting commitment to report? Email us at info@laxlessons.com or joe@laxlessons.com or send a Tweet to @Joe_Lombardi or @LaxLessons.


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Posted In: New Jersey lacrosse, Recruiting Rundown

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