By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/22/15
Attackman/midfielder Will Manganiello, who led Penncrest to the PIAA championship in 2014 when he earned the Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year, has made a verbal commitment to play Division I lacrosse at Drexel University.
Manganiello has been a dominant force this year at Community College of Baltimore County at Essex (CCBC), the No. 3 ranked team in the National Junior College Athletic Association and the top seed in the Region XX post-season tournament.
Manganeillo has a team-leading 36 goals and 14 assists for the Knights, who are 11-2 and will play fourth-seeded Northern Virginia CC in a Region XX semifinal on Thursday at Harford CC in Bel Air, MD.
CCBC Essex head coach Shawn Burke said Manganiello has emerged as both a versatile offensive weapon and a quiet leader on a team with a number of former D1 recruits and players being recruited by D1 teams.
“I think he is a pretty versatile attackman and we actually have moved him to midfield,” said Burke. “He really plays downhill and shoots well on the run with both hands. Drexel is a big jump, but he can step right in physically and can be an impact player. He is going to be a big addition to them.
“He is a quiet kid who works hard and is a very dependable player. His teammates have a lot of confidence in him and even though he is a freshman, he is a little more mature and keeps our other freshmen settled down.”
Manganiello has had big games against the top Juco teams, such as perennial champion Onondoga and No. 2 ranked Nassau CCC.
“He had three goals against Nassau and three against Onondoga; it’s not like he has run up his totals against the teams not on our level,” Burke said.
Manganiello had a Southeastern-PA high 83 goals along with 25 assists in helping the Lions finish 25-1 last year and among the top 25 teams in the nation. He originally committed to Delaware, but de-committed in August.
Manganiello was named a US Lacrosse All-American, the Central League MVP, the Delaware County Daily Times Player of the Year, All-EPLCA and Inquirer All-Area in 2014.
Manganiello, a 5-11, 185-pounder who played club lacrosse for NXT, tallied 16 goals in the state tournament and had five in Penncrest’s 13-7 state title win over Avon Grove.