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Men’s lax transfer Storrs adopts ‘scout team mentality’ in first year at Marquette

Kai+Storrs%2C+a+transfer+from+University+of+Maryland+leads+Marquette%27s+scout+team.
Kai Storrs, a transfer from University of Maryland leads Marquette's scout team.

Kai Storrs, a transfer from University of Maryland leads Marquette's scout team.

Photo by Maggie Bean via Marquette Athletics

Photo by Maggie Bean via Marquette Athletics

Kai Storrs, a transfer from University of Maryland leads Marquette's scout team.

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When Kai Storrs decided to transfer from the University of Maryland men’s lacrosse program, the reigning national champions, he wanted to find a program that was a little closer to his Minnesota home. He found that opportunity at Marquette.

“I’m a big family guy,” Storrs said. “It was nice to come home to my mom, my two little brothers and my sister. I would say I’m a lot happier being closer to home.”

Storrs left his home in Minnesota during sophomore year of high school to go the Salisbury School, a boarding school in Connecticut. From there, he went to Maryland and won a national championship last season with the Terrapins. After four years of being on the East Coast, Storrs was getting a bit homesick.

From the first day Storrs arrived on campus, he embraced a “prove it” mentality in practice.

“He did not come in here arrogant or overconfident,” Amplo said. “He came here with an edge and something to prove. And I’ve challenged him as a leader, from the first conversation I had with him, and he’s accepted that challenge.”

One of the ways Amplo challenged Storrs was by having him lead the scout team, the players that emulate the opponents’ playing style. It allows the starters to see an approximation of what they’ll face in the game, which is a necessary tool for preparation after a three-game losing streak. Storrs said if Marquette is to get back to its winning ways, it will have to start from the bottom up.

“It depends on how hard you want to work for (a win),” Storrs said. “In my opinion, it falls on the scout team because the scout team is challenging the starters.

Storrs hasn’t stepped onto the field once this season and rarely played at Maryland. That doesn’t seem to matter for Storrs, who said he can make an impact in other areas.

“I’ve always liked being on the bottom of the depth chart,” Storrs said. “I like challenging them to be better because I know that if I’m going to put up my best, he’s going to have to put up his best.”

Amplo said he believes that Storrs’ scout team mentality is the right approach, particularly for the younger players that aren’t playing as confidently as they should.

“To have someone who’s been in big moments and been around great players, to have someone make those kids feel comfortable, that’s a necessary ingredient,” Amplo said.

Although Storrs is a calming presence among a young group, it has not yielded impressive results lately. During the three-game losing streak, Marquette has given up 31 goals and scored only 15, both numbers that intensely bother Storrs.

“We have (the score) in the back of our minds and that’s good in a sense,” Storrs said. “I’ve always been a player where giving up 12 goals has pissed me off … I like to keep that in the back of my mind as a burning little pin that’s like, ‘Hey, I’m still here, this still happened.’ I find a way to look past it and realize that we can play differently next time.”

During practice, Marquette includes John Wagner, the junior attackman who’s scored both of Marquette’s game-winning goals and the player that opponents worry about the most because of his scoring prowess.

“I love going at Johnny Wagner everyday in practice,” Storrs said. “That’s fun for me. He’s a great player, he beats me, I beat him sometimes, it’s a great competition.”

Going up against Wagner has motivated Storrs to practice at the highest level.

“That’s what fuels me,” Storrs continued. “Him beating me pisses me off. I stop him (and it) pisses him off. So if I can knock heads with him a bit and both make each other better, that’s the goal at the end of the day.”

For Marquette to get back to winning ways this weekend against Georgetown, Amplo said players like Storrs are the ones that stir change and create a winning culture. For Amplo, it’s more than just playing defense and scoring that makes a difference.

“He’s seen what the top of the mountain looks and feels like,” Amplo said. “Whether he played minutes on game day or not is irrelevant because he was a part of a championship culture.

Amplo says that the culture that Storrs brought has positively impacted the program and his experience will be invaluable down the stretch and into BIG EAST play.

“That’s what we’d like to think we’ve created here,” Amplo continued. “We’re trying to get our championship culture to the ultimate championship, and he’s touched it, he’s been there, so to have first-hand experience within our organization is invaluable.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Men’s lax transfer Storrs adopts ‘scout team mentality’ in first year at Marquette”

  1. Tinka kurth on March 20th, 2018 8:04 am

    Kai I’ve seen you play and your the best. And you’re an inspiration .

    [Reply]

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