Senior LSM Pat Casani of top-ranked Loyola announced recently his commitment to attend and play lacrosse at NCAA Division I Marquette University.
A converted short-stick middie, Casani committed late in the recruiting and admissions process thanks to some help from Loyola assistant coach Brett Tietjen, who played at Hofstra while Marquette coach Joe Amplo was an assistant coach.
“In 2017, Pat was a great athlete that we needed to get on the field,” Tietjen said via email. “With so many great offensive seniors last year, it was hard to break him into the lineup as a short stick. He is a tough, strong kid, with good footwork, so we gave him a pole, and it was a natural fit. He has a lot of potential, so I sent out his tape, and Coach Amplo really liked him. I think it will be a perfect fit.”
Casani said he knew from the minute he set foot on the Marquette campus that it was right for him.
“Coach Amplo and [assistant Jacob] Richards invited me out, and once I got on campus, I immediately knew Marquette was were I wanted to attend,” Pat Casani said via email. “Everyone from the players to the staff were just great people, and I could tell there was something really special about the culture Coach Amplo has built and established.”
Casani said that culture was a big factor in his decision.
“There were a few schools I was considering for lacrosse and football,” he said, “but it ultimately came down to which school had the best culture and where I could grow and challenge myself the most.”
Despite a very short time as a long-stick middie, Pat Casani has developed quickly, his coaches say.
“Pat causes chaos in the middle of the field, is a threat to score and can handle his 1-v-1 match ups,” Tietjen said.
“Love the way Pat is playing,” head coach Seth Cohen said via email. “He’s tough as nails! Actually, he’s tougher than nails — he’s the hammer! Looking forward to seeing what he can do at the next level.”
Given that he was stuck behind Loyola’s Class of 2017 NCAA-bound middies like Ryder Mora (Maryland), Jonathan Partamian (Syracuse) and Mason O’Hanlon (Babson), Casani said the position switch was probably the best thing that happened to him.
“I always enjoyed playing defense more than offense as a midfielder, but I never considered switching to pole until we lost to Harvard Westlake 12-11 Last year,” he said. “I decided I needed to do more to help contribute in anyway possible. … After talking with Coach Tietjen and Coach Seth, I decided I was gonna give defense a shot and never looked back.”
He said he also benefitted from practicing with Loyola’s NCAA-bound defenders last year, as well.
“Watching and playing with Nick Mohler (Boston University) and Nico Econn (Air Force) really helped make my transition easier,” he said. “After going back east with LA Cobras this past summer, I got a lot more interest after switching to pole. Coaches really liked my aggression and ability to cause transition opportunities.”