It’s the busiest time of year for major D-I commitments in the nation’s No. 1 hotspot for lacrosse, the NY/NJ/CT tristate region. Get caught up right here, right now.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a goaltender with more experience for his age than Drew Morris of New Canaan High School (CT).
“I’ve been playing goalie since I started playing lacrosse which I’ve been doing now for eight years,” he said.
Considering Morris is entering his sophomore year in high school, that’s a whole lot of experience.
That experience is one of several attributes Morris will bring to the University of Maryland, a school he verbally committed to last month, a decision reported when it was made by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The 5-foot-11, 153-pound left-hander, who is also a hockey standout, has exceptional athleticism and agility.
But as you’ll see, his choice of Maryland had as much to do with academics as it did athletics.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Drew on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
My main factor in looking for a school to attend was the right academic fit along with a great lacrosse tradition. Maryland offers a tremendous choice of academic pursuits, including Engineering, Business and Architecture — all areas I am excited about, as well as a lacrosse program second to none with a tremendous coaching staff and one that allows me to continue to compete at the highest level of the sport.
It felt like the perfect fit with a mix of great academics and great lacrosse. Finally,
UMD has a great alumni network that I expect to be a huge help for my career.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Harvard, Princeton, U of Penn, Loyola, Syracuse, Cornell, Richmond, Drexel and Lehigh.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
As simple as it sounds, stopping the ball and directing the defense. In lacrosse, one can’t take stopping the ball for granted as all the shooters at higher levels are so good.
My job is to make sure the defense and I give the offense the opportunities that come from stopping the opponent. It may not be as glamorous as scoring, but without a solid defense it’s tough to win.
While playing, I lead the defense and direct them where they need to be. I am very vocal while playing. In the goal I play a shallow arc that allows me the ability to get side to side very quickly.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
I continue to work on all aspects of the game. I make sure to watch what the shooters are doing especially as we have played so many top teams this past summer and during my HS season.
Watching the other defenses and goalies and where they have their successes and problems helps me to see what I can do to lead my guys better. In particular I continue to work on my longer range outlet passes as well giving the runners a head start and helping the fast break out. This will help my team with a very important aspect of the game: transition.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
Growing up I played virtually every sport. The ones I focused on most were lacrosse and hockey.
At one point, I was playing soccer, hockey, lacrosse and baseball at the same time. I always played from the defensive side out as a catcher in baseball, defender and goalie in soccer and now as a defender in hockey and goalie in lacrosse.
I like leading and seeing the whole field and rink in front of me. As I got older it was hard for me to participate in all four sports, which is why now I only play two, lacrosse and hockey.
I was introduced to lacrosse by my cousins, who both played at a very high level of high school lacrosse in Georgia.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for the Eclipse Lacrosse Club and I participated in: Top 205, Brine National Lacrosse Classic, NXT Philly Showcase and Trilogy Freshman Aces. I was nominated to the all-star teams at TOP 205, Brine and Trilogy this past summer.
Any final thoughts?
I would like to thank a few people. The first being my coaches throughout the years: Coach Chip Buzzeo (NCHS), Coach Jamie Hanford (Eclipse), Coach Mike Regan (Eclipse, NCLA), and coaches Gordie Cohen and Chris Madalon. Coach Cohen and Coach Madalon were instrumental in my goalie training.
I would also like to thank Coach John Appelt. Coach Appelt has been involved in lacrosse in the Maryland area for decades and has been a real source of so much support to me, my teammates, our program overall and my family throughout the years. I would not be where I am today without the amount of time my coaches spent helping me become a better lacrosse player and person.
In addition, I would like to thank my parents for helping me follow my dream and helping me continue along that process.
Finally I want to thank (Maryland Head) Coach (John) Tillman and the staff at University of Maryland for giving me the opportunity. I am very excited to have that in my future.
Drew Morris is also a hockey standout for New Canaan.
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