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Captain Matt Del Duca will play substantial role despite ACL injury

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Captain Matt Del Duca will play substantial role despite ACL injury

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

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For men’s lacrosse head coach Joe Amplo, there is much more that goes into the decision of captains than talent on the field.

Senior Matt Del Duca will be captaining the team from the sidelines this season.

Everything changed for Del Duca a week before the squad’s first game when he suffered an ACL injury in practice. He will not return to the field at any point in his senior season.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened, but I mean getting down on yourself or moping and pouting is not going to do anything,” Del Duca said. “Everything happens for a reason, and either way you’re going to be fine.”

The senior from Wyckoff, New Jersey, said he is excited to bring a new style of captainship from the sidelines. He mentioned that his captainship differs greatly from John Wagner and Noah Richard, who were named the other captains.

Amplo said all three captains have been consistent leaders for the team.

“I try to remind the guys that we’re here for fun, and this is something that we love doing,” Del Duca said.

Del Duca, who served as a 5-foot-9 midfielder, said he was initially shocked after hearing the announcement of captains.

“I was very surprised,” Del Duca said. “I thought about the captains that I’ve had in my previous years and the high regard that I hold them to, and even being considered along the lines of captain is an extreme honor for me.”

Unlike Wagner and Richard, Del Duca didn’t see many minutes until his junior year season, but that didn’t matter to Amplo.

“(Del Duca) is a guy who hasn’t seen much playing time. However, he’s made winning really important to him,” Amplo said. “He has showed me the characteristics that a captain should bring.”

Amplo noted Del Duca has earned respect in the program from his teammates, coaches and Amplo’s family because of his good-natured characteristics.

“(My) family was genuinely sad when they heard he had gotten hurt,” Amplo said. “I think that that’s an indication of how much he means to our program.”

The relationship between Del Duca and Amplo is especially close. Del Duca said he looks up to Amplo in many ways, and he has attained plenty of knowledge from him as well.

“We’re both East Coasters. We’re both Italian. (I’m) just part of the family,” Del Duca said.

“I give him all the credit from turning his players from boys to men,” Del Duca said. “He gave me the perception of what I wanted to be, and I think that was extremely impactful.”

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