By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/3/11
Collegiate School (Va.) junior face-off specialist Tyler Mardian has made a verbal commitment to play Division I lacrosse at the University of Delaware.
Mardian won nearly 70 percent of his face-offs and scooped 120 groundballs last year for the Cougars, who went 11-7 overall and advanced to the Virginia state Division I playoffs.
Mardian, who was an honor roll student last year at Collegiate with a 3.6 GPA, plans to enter the business school at Delaware.
“I chose Delaware for many reasons,” he said. “Early in the process, I had told myself that proximity was not a factor, but I soon decided that I wanted to be close enough for my family to be able to drive up, see a game, and drive back in the same day, if need be.
“I found that in Delaware, and the 4-hour drive it takes to get there. I was also looking for a ‘medium-big’ sized school which I also found in Delaware and its 15,000 students. I was definitely looking for a school with a good academic reputation that offered a lot, but one that also allowed balance and a social life.”
Mardian was impressed with veteran Delaware coach Bob Shillinglaw and his staff. Shillinglaw, in his 32nd year, guided the Blue Hens to the Colonial Athletic Association title in 2010.
“The coaching staff really gave me such a good feel about the school,” Mardian said. “Coach Shillinglaw’s tour was so thorough and all the coaches made me feel very wanted there. Going to Delaware was really the best place for my position as well.
“Being a face-off (specialist) at Delaware allows for you to improve so much with the amount of focus that is put on the position. The staff there is dedicated to having me come there and win face-offs and that was made apparent through the practice I watched and the separate, faceoff-specific workouts I observed. It quickly became clear that Delaware was the right fit for me.”
Mardian also considered Princeton and Ohio State.
Mardian, who won the “unsung hero” award at Collegiate, said his team has nine players committed to Division I programs and should challenge for a state title in 2011. One of its 2010 wins was over D.C. power Georgetown Prep.
“We are loaded this year,” Mardian said. “We always play tough teams in state but I think we can beat Episcopal just like last year, and avenge losses against Woodberry, St. Stephens/St. Agnes, and STAB.
“Our defense was very solid last year; the hardest part of this season will be making our offense flow with a lot of new faces that will have to step up and take on important roles.”