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Quint Kessenich: In lacrosse, it's wise to keep an eye on these long-stick midfielders

By Quint Kessenich, The Baltimore Sun, 03/02/17, 12:00AM CST

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Long-stick defensive midfielders are lacrosse's most versatile athletes. They stand out because they do it all. They are charismatic playmakers carrying a tool box full of skills.

What's their job? A better question might be, "What don't they do?"


Navy's Matt Rees advances the ball in the fourth quarter. Tof a 2016 game against Air Force (By Paul W. Gillespie / Capital Gazette)

Long-stick defensive midfielders are lacrosse's most versatile athletes. They stand out because they do it all. They are charismatic playmakers carrying a tool box full of skills.

What's their job? A better question might be, "What don't they do?"

Long-stick midfielders, abbreviated as LSM, play a vital role on every team. The job description mirrors that of a Swiss Army knife. It includes: Face-off ground balls, defending the opponent's best midfielder, clearing the ball up the field, creating and supporting transition offense while generating scoring chances and riding the opponents clear. Some even play man-down defense. It makes for a busy game day.

Here's a look at some of the most dynamic LSMs in the nation.

Matt Rees, Navy: Rees is a 6-foot-5 senior from Boys' Latin who benefited from playing three sports (basketball and football were the others) in high school and spending a year at the Navy Prep School in Rhode Island. His stick work is deft, he has a strong game sense and he uses his length and wing span to cause chaos. The economics major is averaging five ground balls and three caused turnovers per game. Rees has a knack for air-traffic control, batting down passes and creating turnovers.

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