By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/20/09
Recent Strath Haven graduate Dave Alyanakian has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Delaware for 2009-10.
Alyanakian, who earned second-team All-Central League honors at attack this year, was a late signee because of a bizarre misunderstanding. The 6-foot, 230-pounder was a standout football player at Strath Haven and Blue Hen coach Bob Shillinglaw had been incorrectly informed in 2008 that Alyanakian was going to play football in college.
Because of that, Delaware – which had been very interested in signing Alyanakian when he was a junior – backed off. But late this season a coach from the Inter-Ac League who was impressed with Alyanakian’s skills contacted Shillinglaw and the recruiting process got going again.
Until then, Alyanakian was resigned to going off to a prep school in hopes of getting another shot at a Division I team for 2010-11. But Delaware was a welcome opportunity.
“During junior year they saw me play and they were interested,” said Alyanakian, who had 30 goals and 32 assists in 2009. “But I guess someone told them I was playing football in college and they never contacted me again.
“We played a scrimmage during the season against Episcopal and their assistant coach remarked that he liked how I played. Nothing happened for a while and then during the Inter-Ac championships the coach was sitting next to coach Shillinglaw and he remarked that he needed another attackman.
“I came home one day after that and there was an e-mail from Delaware that said, ‘Can you get here for the fall?’”
Alyanakian was an all-state linebacker who started three years for the highly-successful Panthers football team. But he always had his sights set on Division I lacrosse and fell for the Newark, Del., campus.
“I really like how the campus is set up withMain Street
right there,” said Alyanakian, who will join Malvern Prep defenseman James Connelly as recruits from Philly. “Plus, the fact that I am going to study political science combined with the fact that both campaign managers and (Vice President) Joe Biden went to Delaware was kind of an easy sell.
“It’s also a high level of lacrosse and it’s close to home. It’s all I wanted.”
Alyanakian said the 2009 featured ups and downs for Strath Haven. The Panthers’ highlights were their first-ever win over Ridley (7-5) and a District 1 playoff victory over Central Bucks West (7-6 in overtime).
“We were kind of young in some areas,” he said. “I would have liked to win more, but we won a first-round game and we beat Ridley for the first time.”