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Scioscia gives Irish a lethal scoring threat on the attack

Apr 26, 2013, 5:01 PM EDT

photo by Fred Goode

The top-ranked men’s lacrosse team and junior attack John Scioscia have turned some heads this season. Scioscia has come from under the radar and emerged as the fifth leading scorer for the 10-2 Fighting Irish after not scoring in his first two seasons on the team. Scioscia’s remarkable journey has allowed him to net 14 goals and pass for two assists during his increase in minutes this season. Scioscia, the 5’6″ finance major from Summit, N.J., has teamed with fellow attackmen Matt Kavanagh, Sean Rogers, and Conor Doyle to create explosive offensive production on a team that averages 11 goals per game. Scioscia sets the standard for the workmanship attitude that Notre Dame players strive for. He grinded his way up the ladder through daily practices to now earning minutes as a key contributor scoring four goals in a 13-9 victory over Villanova and his career best performance of six goals against Marquette on March 2.

Scioscia is not focusing on his individual successes on the field because he is fully devoted to the cause of defending Notre Dame’s top spot. Scioscia reminisced on his three years on campus thus far and what he is trying to accomplish to build on his achievements during the remainder of the lacrosse season.

How has your role changed over the past few years?

“Freshman year, I was more of a practice and scout player. I wasn’t really contributing in the games in my first two years, but I knew if I kept at it I would work my way out there. The stars aligned and I got my opportunity against Marquette and I took full advantage of that. Slowly but surely, I’ve gained the coaches’ trust and earned more playing time. I wanted to set a standard for the younger guys who aren’t playing as much. It’s tough to come to practice every day and not play knowing how much work you put in. It’ll all work out as long as you keep your confidence.”

What has been the key to your success this season?

“I am a smaller guy and I try to be at the right place at the right time. I have good stick skills and try to catch everything that comes my way and get a good shot on goal. I want to try to be the glue of the offense. I like to make little plays here and there that add up at the end of the game.”

How does the dynamic attack unit work so well together?

“We all do different things really well. Kavanagh is a strength behind the net and in dodging, as well as off ball. He can create a lot of attention to himself to get other guys open. All the defensemen are watching him when he has the ball and he has great vision so he can hit us. Sean Rogers has great finishing abilities and he is very clutch when it comes to the end of the games. He brings the fifth year senior leadership to the team. Conor Doyle is smart and knows the offense really well. Ryan Mix gives us a crease look a lot of times. We work together as a unit and going into a tournament we have a great shot.”

How are you enjoying this season with the No.1 record heading into the final stretch?

“From my point of view, being No.1 is something I don’t really like. Freshman year we were No.1 and lost to Syracuse that weekend. This year we lost again in that first spot. Being No.1 is a great feat and I am really proud of us because we work hard every day and put the time in, but all that matters is being in that spot at the end of the year. We’ve got our losses out of the way, so we aren’t afraid to take some risks. We are strongly poised for the postseason.”

How do you want to end your junior season?

“Personally, I want to help the team wherever I can. I have put a couple goals in the net these past few games and contributed in a great way. If that can continue I would be very pleased…The goal is to win a National Championship as a team, which would be unbelievable. We want to win the BIG EAST tournament but first things first, we need to get through this weekend unscathed.”

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