By Chris Goldberg
Phillycarosse.com, Posted 7/7/10
Recent Springfield-Delco senior midfielder Larry McLaughlin has signed a National Letter of Intent to play college lacrosse at Division II power St. Leo (Fla.).
McLaughlin helped the Cougars (20-3) win their first Central League championship since 2005 and reach the District 1 finals as well as the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association quarterfinals.
McLaughlin originally committed to Chestnut Hill College, but changed his mind during the end of the winter. St. Leo is a young program which began playing at the Division II level in 2005, but has won two straight Deep South championships and this year finished 12-3 and ranked No. 8 in the USILA Division II poll.
“I decided after this winter that I wanted to head south for school,” McLaughlin said. “I heard nothing but good things about the school and the lacrosse program.
“They started DII lacrosse in 2005 and have won the Deep South Conference the last two consecutive years. Saint Leo just missed making the Final Four (NCAA Division II tournament) because of two one-goal losses. I wanted an opportunity to play for a strong ranked program that is on the way to establishing itself as one of the elite programs in DII..”
Saint Leo is located approximately 35 minutes Northeast of Tampa. The school is situated on a large lake and is designed in the typical Florida Spanish style with a lot of palm trees. Saint Leo also has its own golf course.
“I found the school as I was being recruited by Queen’s University of Charlotte, St. Andrews and Florida Southern,” said McLaughlin, who plans to study Criminal Justice. “All the players I met on my visits had nothing but good things to say about the school and campus of Saint Leo.
“I decided at that time to send film to Saint Leo and Limestone as they are the two best teams in the South. I heard back from Saint Leo in November and they mad a hard push for me in early April. Everything happened real fast.”
McLaughlin, though disappointed Springfield-Delco did not make it to the state finals, said the season was a grand success and that he’ll miss the special group of seniors.
“Looking back on this past season with the Cougars, we had an incredible run,” he said. “Our group of seniors had three great seasons and made a serious run for the title twice.
“We are all a little disappointed with the La Salle loss (8-5) in the PIAA quarters, especially since we really handled them the first time around. We all wanted another shot for the rubber game with Conestoga.
“That’s all I regret because we had such a strong bond with each other and had a blast playing varsity together for the four-year run.”