Dec. 10, 2012
In the 16th question-and-answer series for Class One, the first recruiting class of the U-M men's lacrosse team, Mike D'Alessio, a 2012 graduate of The Hackley School in Eastchester, N.Y., is profiled. A four-year letterwinner at Hackley, he was a 2012 U.S. Lacrosse All-American. In addition to lacrosse, he was a three- year letterwinner in wrestling and football.
On transition from high school to Division I ... "At the division one level, I think one of the biggest things is that the ball is just moving faster, passes are sharper and shots are released more quickly. One thing I like to concentrate on is my body positioning and eliminating all of the small little flaws, fundamental flaws, in my game that are just going to make me react faster, more efficiently and save the ball. I think if I could do that, I'll have a good shot at transitioning."
What drew you to Michigan the most ... "Michigan is a complete atmosphere of excellence, from the academic standards to the athletic standards and everything in between. It continues with the tremendous resources we get supplied with, the quality of person you get to meet, whether it's on the sidewalk, in the classroom or in the cafeteria. I think there is a future beyond Michigan and being a part of the university is much bigger than myself, and I am happy to be a part of that community."
On being a part of the first freshman class ... "Simply put, it's an absolute honor. I have the opportunity to create a tradition of hard work and not settling for anything less than what everyone else at Michigan is striving for. I think as the first recruited class we have a chance to do something that most recruited athletes don't have a chance to do nowadays. I'm excited to make that step."
On being a part of the goalkeeping unit ... "I think we definitely have our own little bit of a unit. We have a good amount of individual time where we are concentrating on things specific to our position, whether it's our hand positioning, body positioning, our eyes, our communication or clearing. We are definitely trying to work hard as a unit of three compared to working hard as a defensive unit or an offensive unit where you have 20 guys. We just try to stay focused at all times and keep improving ourselves because we know every other position is improving as well. We've got to keep up."
What is your biggest obstacle facing Division I talent in practice, just purely from a shot-stopping perspective ... "I think my biggest challenge is just focusing. When I get zoned in I think I'm pretty successful as far as making sure I get an explosive step, keeping my hands in the right position, locating the ball, and then just following through and being able to make the stop, whether it's with my body or with my stick. I think when I lose focus I start to break down a little, whether it's losing a little communication with the defense, or just not being as explosive as you want to be. Maybe you take a foot step rather than a foot and a half, and that could be the difference between making a save or a goal."
Past Player Q&As