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Anderson sees uptick in production for men’s lacrosse

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Anderson sees uptick in production for men’s lacrosse

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

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A season ago, then-sophomore Luke Anderson was seeing an uptick in minutes for Marquette men’s lacrosse. But even with the increase in time, the stats weren’t there to back up his improvement.

A year later, the short-stick defensive midfielder has doubled his goal and assist totals, while still improving on his defense statistics in four fewer games.

In 10 games this season, the junior from Lakeville, Minnesota, has nine goals, three assists, five caused turnovers and 25 ground balls.

Head coach Joe Amplo credited Anderson’s improvement to confidence.

“He’s making the obvious plays because he’s confident,” Amplo said. “He’s got more presence in the defensive end. He’s playing like a junior, a guy who’s made a bunch of mistakes and learned from those.”

At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Anderson has a bigger physique than most players in his position, which he said is both an advantage and disadvantage.

“I definitely appreciate it on the field as far as being able to take bigger steps and keep up with guys,” Anderson said. “But it’s also tough sometimes to get a bit lower on smaller guys.”

But Anderson’s combination of athleticism and size impresses Amplo.

“He’s probably one of the best athletes in Division I lacrosse,” Amplo said. “Truthfully, he probably should be playing Division I football. He’s that athletic.”

One of the most important contributions that Anderson makes to the team is his play in transition, which Amplo credits to his natural ability.

“(He’s) big, fast, strong, can shoot the ball. He’s got every attribute,” Amplo said.

Anderson said the coaches have given him the green light to make the choice to push, transition or pull the ball out and let the offense take control.

Anderson said he relishes the opportunity to clear the ball and head toward the crease in transition.

“Being able to make a play for the team is something I like doing,” Anderson said. “(I love) being able to take the shot if I need it or drawing a guy and passing it off to my teammate if it’s there as well.”

While Anderson has made huge strides from his sophomore to junior years, Amplo said there are still spots where he can improve.

“(He needs to be) playing defense more consistently,” Amplo said. “The next step in his growth is making the less obvious plays in the defensive box, and he’ll truly be an elite player at this level.”

Amplo said he and his staff have become a little bit selfish with Anderson’s production. He said Anderson makes plays 75 percent of the time, but Amplo said he needs Anderson to be at 90 percent instead.

Anderson’s position is one that goes unnoticed by many observers, but he said the other short stick defensive midfielders on this team play a crucial role.

“You can’t just have a couple guys because the game’s really long and we take a lot of runs,” Anderson said. “It’s really important to have a balanced unit that really supports each other like we do.”

Off the field, Anderson is reserved and the kind of guy who simply gets the job done. But Amplo said there is one thing he is most proud of.

“He’s a really good student, he works hard,” Amplo said. “The guys love him. He’s a Marquette guy, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”

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