FALLING Albany: The Great Danes are 0-5, including a loss to… (Courtesy of Syracuse University )
Each week, The Baltimore Sun publishes a Q&A with an area college lacrosse player to get you more acquainted with the player and his/her team. Today's guest is Syracuse junior defenseman Brian Megill, whose brother Ray was a two-time All-American defenseman in 2006 and 2007 for Maryland.
How did your brother's experience at Maryland influence your decision to attend Syracuse?
He wasn't too fond of the coaching staff at the time when he was there, but now he's best friends with Coach [Dave] Cottle. That influenced my decision a little bit. And then one of the main ones was, before I even went on visits, people were saying, 'Oh, you can't talk to Brian. He's already committed to Maryland because his brother went there.' My thinking was I didn't want to follow in his footsteps, and that was my biggest thing. My traveling coach told me that my style of play would fit Syracuse's style of play more than any other college. So I took that heart and tried to make my own path.
Besides the Terps and Orange, what other schools tried to recruit you?
My top four were Maryland, Syracuse, Hofstra and Duke, but I had received letters from most of the Division I schools. The two that I didn't were Cornell and Hopkins. They had already had their rosters set. There were letters from other schools, but my main four were Syracuse, Maryland, Duke and Hofstra.
And of the four, Syracuse's 11 national championships convinced you to join the Orange?
I went down and visited Duke, and it was early in my junior year. I wasn't going to visit Syracuse until April or May. Then it was Hofstra and Maryland and Syracuse, and I didn't want to follow in Ray's footsteps. So I just let Maryland pass, and I couldn't have made a better decision.
As the only two-year starter on defense, is there a lot of pressure on you to lead that unit?
It's a little tougher. I've taken on more of a role on the communication end. Last year, we had [long-stick midfielder] Joel White and [defenseman] John Lade and [goalkeeper] John Galloway. Those guys were great vocalists. Sometimes you couldn't get them to shut up. But they always knew the right plays and where you had to be and the right slides. So now with a whole new defense setting, I've taken on a little more of that communication myself. I'm just trying to get people to the right spots and talk through slides. Especially this weekend against Hopkins, we're going to need all of our slides. First, we have to slide to the midfielders like [junior] John Ranagan and [sophomore] Rob Guida. We'll need two slides to cover a player like [No.] 92 [sophomore attackman Brandon Benn], who can catch the ball and finish from inside with a stick on his hands. And we'll need a third slide to back up his guy. Communication should be a big part, and as the year goes on, we've been getting better.