Attacking with enthusiasm David Evans: A two-time lacrosse All-American, the former Loyola High standout has made his mark at Brown, both with his scoring ability and his spirit.

March 07, 1996|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

It's never difficult to locate Brown attackman David Evans.

On the field, Evans routinely has two defensemen hawking him. Off the field, he's vigorously needling his teammates to work out with him.

In the classroom, Evans is the guy yelling at the end of lecture that there is an important swim meet or hockey game on campus that weekend, trying to rally support for other Brown teams.

"He immediately struck me as the most enthusiastic human being I've ever been around," Brown coach Peter Lasagna said. "When I first met him, I thought it was just a mood. But I quickly learned that he is like that all the time." This high-level intensity has pushed Evans into becoming a two-time, first-team All-American and the only player to rank in Division I's top five in total points the past two seasons. A senior from Loyola High, Evans returns to his hometown Saturday when the No. 7 Bears meet No. 9 Duke at Loyola College.

Evans has stacked up impressive credentials: he was the 1995 Ivy League Player of the Year, 1993 Ivy Rookie of the Year and the first Brown sophomore to earn first-team All-America honors. Leading the Bears in goals scored the past two seasons, he is just 38 from the school record of 150.

These accolades have made Evans the target. The first priority for opposing coaches is to find a way to slow down the hard-shooting Evans.

"Usually as David goes, Brown goes," Princeton coach Bill Tierney said. "And that's usually the case because he makes the other attackmen there so much better."

Not only does he improve his teammates during the game, Evans constantly prods them when he's not in uniform.

"They play off his intensity," Lasagna said. "It has to rub off on you. David loves hard work and I can't really say that about his teammates and friends who would rather be watching TV. But after a while he wears you down and you find yourself saying, 'OK, I'll go lift or run with you.' "

His work ethic is the major reason Evans is a leading candidate for Attackman of the Year.

Coming out of high school, he was known as a good shooter with both hands. Translation: he lacked the quickness and toughness to dodge past defenders.

This criticism incited Evans to become more versatile. Lasagna said Evans is now "as good or better without the ball." Evans takes pride in that he can equally shoot, feed and dodge. "This year, I'm not focusing on myself," Evans said. "I'm not going to be scoring as much. I'll be making that second or third pass. That's a lot more complicated."

And complicated somewhat describes Evans' career before entering Brown. He grew up with the sport, shooting thousands of balls in a field with his father. But living in Dundalk, which had just one youth lacrosse team -- a seventh-grade-and-under squad -- Evans had to play against boys five or six years older.

The team folded shortly thereafter, and he traveled to Overlea to play against boys his age.

"When I started playing against people my own size, it was a joke," Evans said. "I always knew I could play better than most. I would even sneak into some Maryland Summer League games, which never let young guys like me play. Then after they saw me play one or two games, they were calling me to play."

And so were the college coaches. Evans committed to Brown the same year its coach, Dom Starsia, left for Virginia.

Evans said the months before Lasagna was hired were "traumatic," but never has regretted attending Brown. In fact, he has left a strong mark on the school.

He attends every home athletic contest that doesn't conflict with lacrosse games or practice. At a swim meet or a hockey game, Evans hollers louder than anyone, sometimes drawing glares from the more subdued crowd.

"I was really disturbed about the spirit here," Evans said. "Some people don't even know we have a lacrosse team in the top 10. A lot of people solely focus on academics, and then there's me being vocal. I know how much I like it when fans are cheering for me. That's why I want to be as prolific as I can for everyone else."

Pub Date: 3/07/96

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