Peter Macartney excels as long-stick midfielder for Syracuse after forgoing fall practice to travel

Sep 17, 2020 zwwiibed

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 30, 2015 at 11:20 am Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Peter Macartney didn’t know if he would play college lacrosse again.After interning at Credit Suisse in New York City through August, he was offered a job for the following summer. He wanted to use his fifth year of athletic eligibility, but didn’t need graduate school.So instead of participating in fall practice, Macartney took the money he’d earned in the summer and went sightseeing in Europe, making stops in Ireland, Madrid and Morocco.“We go for five, six weeks in the fall and we get a lot done there,” SU head coach John Desko said. “For him to not be playing the sport of lacrosse for the whole fall, I thought he’d take a half-step back, frankly.”Macartney eventually decided to return for the spring, and if anything, has leapt forward.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe 6-foot-1, fifth-year senior has now helped shut down 6-foot-4, premier midfielders in consecutive weeks — Duke’s Myles Jones and Notre Dame’s Sergio Perkovic. Macartney’s picked up ahead of where he left off, crediting his 14-year hockey career for already ingraining the speed, scrappy stick skills and tenacity that long-stick midfielders possess.And this fall, Macartney maintained a rigorous workout routine to stay in shape even in hotel rooms abroad. He’s erased any doubt that arose when he decided to forgo fall practice, and is now playing an integral role in No. 2 Syracuse’s (7-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) success at an unheralded position.“I didn’t expect to come back and have the success I’ve had so far,” Macartney said. “It’s come back really quickly and I worked a lot this fall to stay in shape and work out.”From a young age, Macartney had the intangibles that now define him. On the rink, his shifty stick skills, ability to box out for a loose puck and innate physicality built a foundation for the hockey career that would later give way to lacrosse.After picking up lacrosse for the first time in seventh grade, Macartney was the only freshman to make varsity in high school.“He picked up the game very quickly and just played at a very high-level speed and lacrosse IQ for a freshman in high school,” said Chris Spangler, who coached Macartney his freshman year in high school. “It was just a natural fit for him from day one.”In his freshman season, Macartney was unsure if he could compete at the Division I level. But after redshirting, he saw gradual success, first picking up 15 ground balls in a season, then 30 and last year had SU’s highest of any non-faceoff specialist with 41.Then when he decided to travel abroad instead of practice in the fall, and the same uncertainty that accompanied the start of Macartney’s career resurfaced.So to squelch that, Macartney contacted a former teammate.“He said, ‘Hey I’m not going to be at practice every day with those guys,’” said former SU midfielder Billy Ward, now a personal trainer in North Carolina, “‘not going to be running with them in the fall, what should I be doing in that time?’”Along with other trainers Ward knew, he developed a fall workout plan for Macartney. He emphasized power, agility and speed and said they had to be creative with designing a plan since Macartney was often not in a traditional gym setting while abroad.Macartney would email Ward with what equipment he had and in return, he’d get a detailed layout of how he could maintain his body weight and match the level of intensity he’d be getting in a fall practice workout.Then when Macartney returned home to Colorado in November, he trained with Spangler — who would pull up footage of Jones dominating the Orange last year. They focused on imitating game situations as Macartney’s return to SU was inching closer, mimicking the process of sprinting to the X from the wing, going around the faceoff, having to defend a 230-pound player and then sprinting down the field with the ball.“It was his No. 1 priority every day of the fall when he missed fall ball at SU to return to the team ready to play his final year,” said Sandra Macartney, his mother. “He worked out one or two times daily, 6–7 days a week and it was no mistake that Peter returned bigger and stronger.”When Macartney came back to school, it was time for the players to do their 440-meter running test. Fellow wing Mike Messina said Macartney jokingly said he didn’t know how well he’d do since he’d been overseas.“And he ended up being in the top 10 anyway,” Messina said. “I don’t really worry about Pete ever being a step behind.”Now that he’s shutting down some of the country’s best midfielders, Macartney is beginning to emerge from the shadow that long-stick middies often find themselves in.He continues to be the “monster” on ground balls that Messina coined him as, and has rounded into a newfound form that was hardly expected of him just a short time ago.“He’s playing his best college lacrosse right now,” Desko said. “Maybe we should give all our guys the fall off and we’ll get better.” Commentslast_img

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