El Segundo's Cory Lund Heading to D-III Williams

El Segundo attack Cory Lund, a rising senior who was Ocean League MVP last spring, has committed to the admissions process at Williams College in Massachusetts, a member of the prestigious New England Small College Athletic Association.

Lund has helped El Segundo to consecutive Ocean League championships and playoff berths, putting up a combined 117 goals and 120 assists the last two seasons. After missing his freshman season with a broken foot, he was named Ocean League Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and MVP as a junior. Las spring he also was named US Lacrosse Academic All-American and was named to the second team of the US Lacrosse Greater LA South All-Area Team. He has played club ball with the LA Cobras, Goon, LA Heat, West Coast Starz and 3d Southland.

“Williams’ academics and the coaching staff made the difference for me,” Lund said via email. “Williams has an outstanding academic reputation and a great alumni network. The coaches did a great job of showing me what Williams had to offer, and I was ecstatic to get Coach [George] McCormack‘s support in the admissions process.”

Williams is ranked No. 1 among liberal arts colleges by US News and No. 2 by Forbes and by College Choice. US News lists seven NESCAC schools in the top 20 of its list of liberal arts schools.

“I plan on double majoring in economics and math,” Lund said. “Williams has a high rate of double majors and encourages student-athletes to challenge themselves academically. The economics department is outstanding and has an awesome reputation for job opportunities after college.”

Lund said he visited the Williams campus twice, once in October — during a tour in which he and his mother visited six NESCAC schools in advance of the 3d Rising DIII Showcase camp. The Williams coaches were at the showcase, then saw Cory again in January at the Adrenaline Challenge in Del Mar. After one more visit to Williams a few weeks ago and competing at the Elite 180 camp last week, Lund and Williams pulled the trigger.

“I received interest from schools like Vassar, Haverford, Colby and Wesleyan, but Williams has been my outright No. 1 choice since October,” Lund said. “I visited some 25 schools during the recruiting process, but Williams jumped off the page immediately.”

Responding to questions via email, Lund went off-script to ensure he gave credit to all the people who have helped him:

“Huge thanks to first my parents,” he wrote. “My mom [Alissa Lund] has been my ‘agent’ for the last three years of recruiting and has done an amazing job. I wouldn’t be going to such an amazing school without her. Another thanks to all my coaches — Brooks Roscoe and Steve Wood in El Segundo for getting me started; Scott Hochstadt and Erik Krum for starting my club career; and to Mario Waibel for showing me that I’m not as good as I think I am and making me improve. Last, thanks to my teammates for everything and thanks to my friends at home for pushing me in the classroom.”

Waibel, the Sierra Canyon HS head coach who runs the Goon Lacrosse club and co-run the LA Heat, laughed when told how Lund described their coach-player relationship and credited Lund with being willing to put in the work.

“When I first encountered Cory as a player, you could see he did so many things naturally,” Waibel said. “He had such great vision, was a smooth finisher and had that X-factor that allowed him to turn chaos into a spectacular play. We pushed him hard to move from being a great student/athlete with potential to becoming a high level lacrosse prospect.

“To decide to put in the hours of work it takes to entrench the foundations that you need to not only make the next level, but to compete and own space there, is a path only a few choose. Cory is one of those few, and I was lucky to get the chance to coach such a great player and young man.”

Lund is the latest in a growing list of LA-area players parlaying their performance on the lacrosse fields and in the classroom into opportunities at some of the elite institutions of the NESCAC. Midfielder Jack Temko (Harvard Westlake ’14) plays at Hamilton; defenseman Adam Blau (Brentwood ’14) plays at Bates; attack Colton Michel (Peninsula ’15) plays at Colby; attack Koby Tseng (Peninsula ’16) is headed to Amherst next fall; attack Sean Smith (Loyola ’16) will play next year at Connecticut College; and goalie Joe Theuer (Loyola ’17) recently committed to Tufts.

“I love the idea of an LA-NESCAC pipeline,” Lund said. “I think the NESCAC provides the best opportunity for a balance of high-powered academics and competitive lacrosse in the NCAA. I know many kids in the 2018 class in LA that have their eyes set on the NESCAC, and I hope we can keep it going. Also, I think it will be awesome to play against Joe Theuer and Sean Smith every year. I still can’t score on Joe after five years playing with him, so he might cause some trouble at Tufts, but it should be fun.”