February 1, 2013

Selfless Lisicky Lets His Game Garner Attention

Lynchburg defenseman is LM's MD3 preseason player of year

by Jac Coyne | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | Coyne Archive

Lynchburg defenseman Joe Lisicky is not one to tout individual honors, like LM's preseason player of the year nod.
© Lynchburg

As Lynchburg sat in the locker room last year going over goals for the season, Joe Lisicky raised his hand. They turned their gaze on the then-junior defenseman, some in slight astonishment, as Hornets coach Steve Koudelka called on him.

After a pregnant pause, Lisicky spoke.

"I could care less about these preseason awards," he said, referencing his preseason All-American nod. "I'd trade any of this preseason stuff to be playing on Memorial Day weekend."

One of Lynchburg's more laconic players, Lisicky quickly garners the attention of those around him on those rare occasions when he feels compelled to converse. His muted presence off the field belies his demeanor on it. Lisicky is one of the most dominant and versatile defenders in Division III history.

Whether he's on close defense (41 caused turnovers), manning one of the faceoff wings (89 ground balls) or scoring in transition (five goals), he approaches his tasks with ferocity.

"A lot of coaches ask me about Joe, and because he is so aggressive with a little bit of reckless abandon, they think he's like that off the field," Koudelka said. "And it's the opposite. He fits the motto of, 'Speak softly and carry a big stick.'"

The quiet soldier routine could change this year, as Lisicky has been elected as a captain. "Come game time, you put friendships on the side and do whatever you can to win," he said.

Lisicky's transformation also stems from what happened last spring. The Hornets entered the NCAA tournament with a 17-1 record and the No. 2 seed in the South, only to be stunned by Denison in the second round.

Lynchburg hopes a gamelong dose of Lisicky, and his ability to give the Hornets an advantage at every level of the field, will help preclude such an outcome in 2013.

"We sat down with Joe this fall and said, 'If you want to be as great as you want to be, you have to be able to go for 60 minutes and go at the pace you want to go at. You have to train yourself to be able to do that,'" Koudelka said.

Lisicky's preparation for the 2013 season will be unfettered by future concerns. After being one of the top performing students on campus, he already has been accepted to Virginia's acclaimed McIntire School of Commerce graduate program. For now, he is focused on lacrosse with an opportunity to prove he deserves the preseason accolades.

If he really cared about that stuff.

This article appears in the February issue of Lacrosse Magazine, the flagship publication of US Lacrosse. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 400,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

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