December 28, 2010

This article appears in the January issue of Lacrosse Magazine, which mails to US Lacrosse members this week. Don't get the mag? Join USL and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Harmatuk Happy He Left Syracuse

by Corey McLaughlin | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

Jack Harmatuk figured to be a contributor at Syracuse, but he left for the small-school feel for Le Moyne. It's worked out well. He's LM's 2011 Division II Preseason Player of the Year.

© Kevin P. Tucker

When Jack Harmatuk said firmly, "I want to win a national championship," he didn't sound like a player who has won a championship before.

In fact, he has.

But it came three seasons ago, at a different school (Syracuse), in a different division and in a much different role (a minor contributor as a freshman).

Since deciding to transfer from Syracuse after his freshman year, Harmatuk has become a big fish in a small pond at Division II Le Moyne. The scrappy 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior attackman has earned first-team All-America honors in two seasons and is the reigning USILA Attackman of the Year with 33 goals, 11 assists and 24 ground balls last year.

But the Dolphins, who have appeared in five straight national championship games, have gone oh-for in the two Harmatuk has played — both vs. C.W. Post. They also lost the title game in 2008. That year, Harmatuk played in 10 games for a Syracuse team that beat Johns Hopkins for the Division I title.

He figured to have more impact with the Orange as a sophomore, but decided to leave, saying he wasn't comfortable on the large campus. He wanted a smaller environment similar to Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, his high school, where he could still play high-level lacrosse.

Le Moyne, on his original list of potential colleges, fit the bill.

"I think it worked out pretty well," he said.

And for Lacrosse Magazine's Preseason Player of the Year, the only thing left to wrap up his Le Moyne career is to be a major contributor while winning another title (and improve his shot a bit, he said).

"He's a pretty motivated kid this year," Le Moyne coach Dan Sheehan said. "He's one of our seniors who has won a national title, but it wasn't here. He and his classmates are fairly motivated to get out of here as a winning class."

Harmatuk, admittedly a strictly right-handed player, is known for his competitiveness, toughness and tenacity.

"I like to dodge hard, go to the cage hard, score goals and ride hard," he said.

He and senior lefty midfielder Matt Chadderdon (36g, 7a in 2010) pair to lead the offense.

Off the field, Sheehan said of Harmatuk, a business administration major: "He's a Le Moyne kid. It just took him a little while to find that out. To have the courage to do what he did ... it wasn't like he was a disgruntled athlete thinking he wasn't given the right shot. As a freshman, he played on a national championship team. What more can you do?"

He can win another championship this season.

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