Lacrosse: Heroes, Legends, and Olympic Dreams!

A sometimes rough team sport played with a long stick and a rubber ball is known as lacrosse. The lacrosse stick or simply the crosse typically has a triangular shape that is fitted with a loose mesh or netting to allow the players to catch, carry, pass, and throw the ball. The aim is to score points by hurling the ball into the opposing goal. The goalie defends the goal by preventing the ball from entering his goal. In addition to the goalie, each team consists of three defenders, three midfielders, and three attackers for a total of 10 players. The major types of lacrosse include field lacrosse, box lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, and college lacrosse. 

matt landisBack in December 2010 Matt Landis of Pelham Memorial High School in Pelham, New York was deciding on which college to attend after he graduated in 2012. He had played varsity lacrosse for four seasons at PHS where he earned All-America honors and was named as 2012 Athlete of the Year. He was also outstanding in football and hockey at Pelham and still managed to be an honor roll student with membership in the National Science Honor Society. He finally decided on the University of Notre Dame and the rest as they say is history. 

matt landis yellow tee
The Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame has one of the top ranked lacrosse teams in the country. Notre Dame plays in the Atlantic Coast Conference where the team has won numerous accolades, especially for star defenseman Matt Landis. Back in March 2015 Matt and his teammate Mikey Wynne were named Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Lacrosse Defensive and Offensive Players of the Week. These honors came as a result of the stunning 11-9 victory over No. 7 ranked Virginia in the ACC season opener. Matt went on to be named Atlantic Coast Conference 2015 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He also won the prestigious William C. Schmeisser Award Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year which is presented to the most outstanding lacrosse defenseman in the NCAA. In addition to collecting a string of honors for lacrosse, Matt has maintained a 3.4 GPA as finance major in the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame. 
Matt Landis
The historical roots of lacrosse go back to the native American cultures before Europeans came to the New World. It was an all male sport that used a netted stick to pick up the ball and move it around. According to legend, the main rule was to never ever touch the ball with your hands. The game was most popular in the Northeastern region of the US, especially among the Iroquois Nation. French Jesuit missionaries and early English explorers in the 1600s documented certain aspects of the game such as equipment, team size, and game duration, but little is known about strategy and rules of play. It wasn’t until the mid to late nineteenth century that detailed reports of the game were published. 
Matt LandisLacrosse appeared as a Summer Olympic sport in 1904 and 1908. It was only open to men and Canadian teams won both times. It was a demonstration event at the Olympics of 1928 (Amsterdam), 1932 (Los Angeles), and 1948 (London). However, there is a movement to have lacrosse reinstated as an Olympic event. Former Rutgers University head coach Tom Hayes is now the director of development at the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL). Tom’s opinion is that the 2024 Summer Games represent the most likely opportunity for inclusion as an Olympic sport. Time will tell.