By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/4/19
Mark Cheng said his teammates made it was easy to succeed at Saturday’s Liberty National Elite Showcase at the Proving Grounds in Conshohocken.
“I think the great thing about this showcase as compared to others is that I had really great teammates that understood ball motion and cycling,” said Cheng, a lefty 2022 attackman from Miramonte High (CA) and the Duke’s Lacrosse Club. “That helps your 1-on-1 game; having people cut instead of standing in the middle really helps your passing ability and helps you get goals. I think I had a really good team and happy with how we played today.”
Cheng had enough success to earn the Showcase MVP award as voted by over 60 college coaches in attendance for the event, which also included a team tournament. Cheng, in fact, played six games and helped the Duke’s LC Elite squad go 3-0.
“I played in six games; I’m pretty tired,” Cheng said. “But my Dukes coach put me on an extensive workout the past few months, so I am in good shape.
“I have a tournament (Sunday, the Terrapin Classic). When you are from California (near Oakland), you have to maximize every trip and get as many games in as possible and as much exposure as you can. You have to kind of ‘Live the dream.’ I came here for the competition and exposure; there is not a lot of exposure on the West Coast, so coming to an Eastern team helps.”
Cheng flashed his smarts along with his solid dodging and passing abilities all day. However, he knows he must continue to improve.
“I like my dodging ability; I am working on acceleration and ballhandling,” he said. “I think any team can trust me dodging and looking for people. My major weakness is my right hand, but hopefully next year it will be resolved.”
Cheng also was pleased with helping Duke’s LC Black Elite dominate in the Liberty Elite team tourney (no bracket play) Saturday. Dukes toppled toppled Thunder LB3 2023 Orange, 10-3, Thunder LB3 2022 White, 10-1, and Showcase Team 1, 10-3.
Duke’s Elite 2021 also went 3-0 and Duke’s Young Guns 2023 went 3-0.
“I think we did a lot of good cycling, and really capitalized on our man up plays,” said Cheng, “and and we really won our individual one on one matchups which helped us become successful.”
Since it was the first tourney of the fall, much time was spent building chemistry.
“It’s really about integrating other guys into the core,” Cheng said. “This was our first tourney to build chemistry and to get ready for summer 2020. We want to continue to build on our fundamentals and get more complex plays so we can beat high level teams.”
Dukes midfielder Ben Scandone (Allentown Central Catholic) agreed:
“Coming into this, some guys had not even met so we want to bond, get to know each other’s strengths,” he said. “We’ll spend the rest of the fall working on each other’s strengths and working off of that so we can come together as a team.
We have another kid from California so we are learning what each kid likes to do. We will play with that. The goal for the Fall is to see what plays work for which player; some will work differently for each kid. Some may work for some and and some for others; we will see which works for each so we can go into the summer stronger.”
Dukes defenseman Henry Troy (La Salle) was happy with his team’s execution. “A lot of the guys have been together but we added five or six people over the summer and fall,” said Troy. “I felt that we executed our plays well on defense in for our first tournament.”
Tags: Dukes LC