By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/25/09
The clinics, also sponsored by the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association (PLA), featured a session in the morning for boys in grades 3 through 8 and another in the afternoon for boys in grades 9 through 12. The clinics were run by six members of the current 41-man squad trying out for the National team that will represent the U.S. in next summer’s Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships in Manchester, England.
One of the members was goalie Brian Dougherty, an Episcopal Academy graduate who starred at the University of Maryland and for the Philadelphia Barrage of Major League Lacrosse (MLL). Dougherty, who now plays for the Long Island Lizards, also is an assistant coach for the Pennsylvania men’s team.
Other team members included former Duke All-American Matt Danowski (Lizards, Orlando Titans of the National Lacrosse League), Matt Abbott (Syracuse University/Washington Bayhawks), John Glynn (Cornell University/Chicago Machine), Stephen Peyser (Johns Hopkins) and Lee Zink (Maryland/Denver Outlaws).
Also present today was National team assistant coach Tony Resch, the assistant coach of the two-time state champion La Salle College High Explorers and an NLL Hall of Famer for the Philadelphia Wings.
The team members put the players mostly through drills and skill sessions designed to teach fundamentals.
“I think the main goal is to put a face with the name,” said Danowski. “The team isn’t made yet, but we want to get out there and spread the game and do our part.
“US Lacrosse is non-profit and we want to do our part. It’s not hard to come out here and teach these kids for a couple hours. It’s fun.”
Lansdale Catholic freshman defenseman Andrew Saldutti, who participated in the afternoon session, said he had extra motivation to receive instruction from the nation’s top players.
“I just wanted to come out so I could get better,” he said. “I wanted to work on my defense, my conditioning and my passing.”
Saldutti has been playing lacrosse for seven years and grew up in the North Penn youth program.
“They stressed stick skills and conditioning,” he said of the instruction. “That they are Team USA players kind of helped (motivate me). They are just regular guys that just want to make us better players.”
Today’s clinic was the ninth performed by National team members all over the country. Next week’s event at Stony Brook University (N.Y.) is the final one and the following week the team has its final tryout for coach Mike Pressler (Bryant University, formerly coach at Duke.) After that the 23-man roster will be chosen.
The U.S. team had won the last six World championships before falling to host Canada, 15-10, in the finals in 2006 in Ontario. Next year’s tournament is slated for July 10-24 in Manchester.
“After losing last time, it brought us back down to our roots,” Danowski said. “It’s easy to take things for granted when you’re always winning.”
Danowski said the goal today was to teach young players the right way to play.
“We don’t want to just roll the ball and have them scrimmage,” he said. “We want to teach them the fundamentals and teach what we were taught at the USA level.
“Each person has his own way of playing lacrosse, but I think the goal is the same: doing the right thing, throwing and catching and picking up groundballs.”
Tim Udinski, a PLA board member who oversaw the clinics, said the event was a complete success.
“The event was phenomenal,” he said. “The National players had a blast, the kids enjoyed it, and they learned a lot and met some of the best players in the game.
“They met the players they see on TV every weekend. They saw that they’re kids like them, just a little bit older.”
NOTES – Danowski said that competition is keen for the final 23 spots, but all players are working together. “What it comes down to is that I don’t think the coaches can pick the wrong team or a bad team.” Danowski said. “Any team that’s picked is just fine. But it’s hard. You’re trying out, you want to be a team player. You like all the guys out here, you play with them all summer and winter. You want to see everybody make it, but at the same time you want to see yourself make it. You got to do the little things right and play the right way and hope it works out in the end. To make this 41-man squad is an achievement in itself. Anything else is icing on the cake.”
2010 U.S. Men’s Training Team:
M Matt Abbott – Washington Bayhawks (Syracuse ’09)
M Stephen Berger – Long Island Lizards (Washington ’04)
A Ryan Boyle – Boston Cannons (Princeton ’04)
M Steven Brooks – Chicago Machine (Syracuse ’08)
A/M Kevin Buchanan – Washington Bayhawks (Ohio State ’08)
M Kevin Cassese – Boston Cannons (Duke ’03, Lehigh men’s coach)
D Joe Cinosky – Toronto Nationals (Maryland ’09)
A/M Ned Crotty – Duke ‘09
A Matt Danowski – Long Island Lizards (Duke ’08)
M Kyle Dixon Washington Bayhawks
G Brian Dougherty – Long Island Lizards (Maryland ’95, Episcopal Academy)
D DJ Driscoll – Chicago Machine (Notre Dame ’06, Malvern Prep)
FO Chris Eck – Boston Cannons (Colgate ’08)
G Adam Fullerton – Denver Outlaws (Army ’08)
M John Glynn – Chicago Machine (Cornell ’09)
M Kyle Harrison – Denver Outlaws (Johns Hopkins ’05)
G Mickey Jarboe – Quicksilver LC (Navy ’00)
A Kevin Leveille – Chicago Machine (UMass ’03)
A Mike Leveille – Chicago Machine (Syracuse ’08)
D Eric Martin – Denver Outlaws (Salisbury ’04)
D Ryan McClay – Boston Cannons (Cornell ’03)
LSM Parker McKee – Duke ’10
A Brendan Mundorf – Denver Outlaws (UMBC ’06)
D Shawn Nadelen – Washington Bayhawks (Johns Hopkins ’01)
LSM Nick O’Hara – Toronto Nationals (Duke ’07)
M Stephen Peyser – Long Island Lizards (Johns Hopkins ’08)
D Nicky Polanco – Long Island Lizards (Hofstra ’02)
M Matt Poskay – Boston Cannons (Virginia ’06)
A Ryan Powell – Big Foot LC (Syracuse ’00)
M Paul Rabil – Boston Cannons (Johns Hopkins ’08)
D Jack Reid – Boston Cannons (Massachusetts ’06)
M Max Seibald – Denver Outlaws (Cornell ’09)
M Chris Schiller – Sailin’ Shoe LC (Penn State ’99)
FO Alex Smith – Washington Bayhawks (Delaware ’07)
D Brian Spallina – Long Island Lizards
M Matt Striebel – Chicago Machine (Princeton ’01)
LSM Kyle Sweeney – Boston Cannons (Georgetown ’03, Springfield-Delco)
M Joe Walters – Toronto Nationals (Maryland ’06)
A Drew Westervelt – Denver Outlaws (UMBC ’07/Philadelphia Wings)
M Matt Zash – Long Island Lizards (Duke ’06)
D Lee Zink – Denver Outlaws (Maryland ’04)