01/22/2019 2:35 PM
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Trevor Marsala started to sense a difference in the way he was communicating with college coaches after this fall.
The Team 91 2020 Crush and Mount Sinai 5-10, 180-pound defenseman had put out some feelers prior to taking part in Crush's rigorous schedule, but until he actually started playing, he found himself in more of a wait-and-see mode with schools.
As it turned out, the fall schedule worked out perfectly for Marsala. The Crush team was routinely missing a handful of defensemen due to conflicts with other sports, and because of that, it gave him an opportunity to shine on a consistent basis. Marsala wasn't about to pass on it, as he turned in his best play to date. Not so coincidentally, the emails started to change after he put the finishing touches on the fall with strong days on the last weekend at the Fall Classic and NLF Fall Invitational.
"I was a little surprised because I started talking to schools more often and they were much more interested in me," Marsala said. "This fall was the best possible thing that could have happened for me. Because we had guys missing, I played every game that I possibly could, and it really helped me get seen by coaches consistently throughout the fall. I really built up my confidence because of it, and I felt more comfortable taking more risks, clearing the ball and handling the ball up the field."
That comfort and improved play opened up a lot of eyes, including in some places where Marsala wasn't even looking. He started to get interest from Siena, a school he didn't previously have on his radar. As he started to get to know the coaching staff, though, he found himself entertaining the idea of being a Saint more and more.
"When I went there for the first time to watch a practice, I really liked how it went and it really felt like everyone enjoyed being there," Marsala said. "The coaches cared about getting as much done as possible, but they also really cared about the players. Everyone just seemed super involved and very happy to be there."
It wasn't long after that Marsala made the call for Siena, becoming the 15th Crush player to commit, all to Division I schools. He has intentions of possibly studying business, and the school's business program holds a recognition that only about 10 percent of schools do. Siena's location also helped set it apart from the other schools that Marsala looked at, too.
"It's three hours, which is not too close and not too far," Marsala said. "That played a big part in it. I also really liked the coaches, and all three coaches made a big difference in making the decision to play at Siena for the next four years."
A Crush lifer, Marsala was patient in his recruiting process, staying the course and not panicking even as he watched his teammates fly off the board to the best schools in the country. Rather, he took the advice of his coaches and trainer Justin Kull, who urged him to be patient and find the right fit for him. Playing on the Crush team went a long way for Marsala. It wasn't just that he played against some of the best teams in the nation, but also, it was the fact that he got to up against the country's top attackmen in Brennan O'Neill (St. Anthony's/Duke), Xavier Arline (Shoreham-Wading River/North Carolina) and Joey Spallina in practice all the time. If you can hold your own against those three, you can thrive anywhere.
"I've been on the team since the beginning and it's been amazing," Marsala said. "Especially when you're going up against those guys, because they're all different in their own way. You're going to see everything you can possibly see, whether it's Brennan's size and stick work, X's speed and agility or Joey's ability to do everything.
Crush coach Joe Spallina preached to him to always trust himself and to keep putting in the work needed to get to that next level, and of course, it worked out.
"Trevor had a fantastic fall for us, and it was the culmination of a lot of hard work to get to that level," Spallina said. "He saw what he had to do to play high-level college lacrosse, and he didn't shy away from it. He's been with me ever since we put the Crush team together, and it's been an absolute pleasure to be able to coach him and watch him develop through the year. I'm so happy and so proud of him, and Siena is getting a kid who can be an impact defender, but most importantly, an outstanding person who will represent the program well."
Team 91 2020 Crush Commitments
Xavier Arline, attack, Shoreham-Wading River - North Carolina
Justin Brown, midfield, Half Hollow Hills West - Michigan
Nick Caccamo, defense, Harborfields - Yale (Commitment story)
Tyler Cordes, midfield, Connetquot - Navy
Aidan Danenza, midfield, St. Anthony's - Duke (Commitment story)
Tommy Dolciotto, midfield, Syosset - Stony Brook (Commitment story)
Koby Ginder, faceoff midfielder, Brunswick (Conn.) - Princeton
Caden Hawkinson, D/LSM, Cold Spring Harbor - Michigan (Commitment story)
Nick LiCalzi, D/LSM, South Side - Navy
Trevor Marsala, D, Mount Sinai - Siena
Brett Martin, midfield, Half Hollow Hills East - Johns Hopkins
Brennan O'Neill, attack, St. Anthony's - Duke (Commitment story)
Jack Schirtzer, D/LSM, Shoreham-Wading River - Maryland (Commitment story)
Jack Stewart, midfield, Huntington - Air Force
Jayson Tingue, goalie, Bay Shore - UMBC (Commitment story)