April 26, 2010

Lincoln Admits Mistakes, Thrives at Hofstra

by Chris R. Vaccaro | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Attackman Jamie Lincoln, dismissed from Denver midway through the 2009 season, has resurfaced at Hofstra, where he leads the Pride in scoring.

© Joe Rogate

In the sports world, second chances are a dime a dozen. Athletes make mistakes and are reprimanded for off-the-field incidents just as often as they throw touchdown passes or pick up ground balls.

So when Jamie Lincoln and two of his University of Denver teammates, Brad Richardson and Ilija Gajic, were released from the Pioneers lacrosse team in 2009, most suspected Lincoln would bounce back to the honorable mention All-American form he had as a freshman, when he scored 48 goals.

It was just a matter of when and where.

The cards fell right for Lincoln and Hofstra – literally – when junior Jay Card, also a Canadian, rang the Ontario native and made his pitch.

“We were texting back and forth, had a couple phone calls,” Lincoln said. “We made a visit happen and the rest is history.”

In his second semester at Hofstra and his first season with the Pride, Lincoln leads the team in scoring with 32 goals and 51 points. He has over a 3.0 GPA in the classroom and has been nothing but a positive influence around the team, said Hofstra head coach Seth Tierney.

“The first thing out of his mouth was that [the reason he was released from Denver] was his fault and that he didn’t handle it correctly,” Tierney said. “That’s what I needed to hear. Now he’s getting it done and does a good job on the field.”

The incident wasn’t horrific, but going out after a game in Bellarmine was against team policy and former Denver coach Jamie Munro wasn’t happy.

“We violated team policy,” Lincoln said. “I didn’t see it coming, but I understood the ramifications of what we dd. We didn’t see eye-to-eye with the coaching staff, and it showed over time that we had a little bit of bad blood. It’s water under the bridge now. I’m here at Hofstra and things are moving great. I’m glad everything worked out for me, as well as them.”

Denver would not release more information about the incident, which occurred in March 2009, and resent the original release from Munro, which said, “After several discussions with my coaching staff, we decided that it would be in the best interest of the team to dismiss Brad, Ilija and Jamie from the team due to violations of team policies. They will have the option to remain as students for the remainder of the quarter under their scholarship. We will also assist them in their future endeavors.”

Gajic, who left Denver and currently plays for the NLL's Colorado Mammoth, and Brendan Deblois, had been arrested for assault in an earlier incident -- a brawl outside a bar near the university.

After his dismissal from the Pioneers, Lincoln spoke briefly with Georgetown, North Carolina and Delaware, hoping to fill his void of lacrosse before other high school players and college transfers were recruited.

“It was a great decision,” said Lincoln, who has taken advantage of the beaches on Long Island and the quick train ride to New York City.

On the field, Lincoln scored four goals and added an assist in his Pride debut against Princeton. The following game he scored a season-high five goals and recorded three assists against Hopkins. He’s poured on big scoring totals multiple times: eight points against St. Johns, six points against Sacred Heart, three goals against Army and four goals against Manhattan.

“Jamie is a gamer,” Tierney said. “He loves to put the game uniform on and compete.”

CAA Men’s Lacrosse Notes

With Towson’s 10-9 win over Penn State on Saturday, the Tigers have a winning record for the first time since the end of the 2007 season. Their fifth straight victory is the most the team has had in a row since 2005… Longtime Delaware coach Bob Shillinglaw coached his 500th career contest when the Blue Hens upset No. 11 Drexel, 10-6, on Saturday. It also marked the first time since 2008 that the Hens knocked off two ranked opponents in consecutive games. (They beat UMass the previous week.)… Two players making their first career starts played huge for UMass in its 13-12 win over No. 10 Georgetown on Saturday. Christian Hain scored the game-winner and Steve D’Amario tied the game. Will Manny tied his career-high with five points and recorded his fifth hat trick of the season in the win.

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