Minnesota Swarm fans are justifiably excited about the rapidly approaching season. Their team is coming off its first-ever National Lacrosse League playoff win and have added four first-round draft picks. And now, having played a scrimmage with Colorado and an exhibition game with Rochester, they’ve had a chance to see Kiel Matisz, Shayne Jackson and Alex Crepinsek perform. What they haven’t yet been able to watch is their first pick, second overall transition player Brock Sorensen. If you think Swarm followers are getting antsy to see the big man hit the floor, that’s nothing compared to how Sorensen is feeling. “I can’t wait,” he says of the January 13 season opener where he plans to make his Swarm debut. “It’s been two summers ago since I’ve played box. I just can’t wait to get out there.”
Recovering from knee surgery in May, Sorensen has been practicing with the team but has yet to suit up for full contact. He did take part in some sessions the first weekend of Swarm training camp and was on the floor with his teammates every day this past weekend. “My knee feels great,” he told IL Indoor. “I’ve been seeing the doctor every week. Testing showed it’s only 2% weaker than my good knee at this point.”
He’s moved up to taking part in five-on-five drills at practice, including some contact, and says “it’s just great to be back out with my teammates competing again.” Sorensen and the team agreed that it was better not to have him play in the preseason contests with wide open contact, but he can feel himself getting closer to that point. “It’s amazing how much better it feels this week than last week,” he said. “Everything’s on track to be ready for the start of the season.”
Sorensen adds that he has been fitted for a knee brace, which he will receive later this week. He had said before that he would prefer not to wear one, but the team has suggested it will help provide extra support as he gets back to full speed, especially with the crease-diving proclivities of NLL players.
While he may not have played box for about 16 months when he does debut with the Swarm, Sorensen has no lack of experience to call on in high-level lacrosse. He was a standout coming up through the Peterborough minor system and won a Minto Cup with the Junior Lakers. The senior team started calling him up for games when he was about 17 and he’s been a part of several Mann Cup runs with the Lakers.
It also won’t hurt his acclimatization to Minnesota that Swarm coaches Joe Sullivan and Bob Keast are also on the Peterborough staff and that he has played with or against about half of the players on the team. He was even roommates with captain Andrew Suitor during his final year of junior, when he was traded to the Orangeville Northmen for the season and helped the team reach the Minto finals.
Sorensen is excited to play and he’s also excited about what he’s seen from his new teammates on the floor. He says he feels like the Swarm are the only team that plays at the pace they do, with four defenders routinely pushing the ball up the floor. Sorensen will be a big part of that approach. He’s a huge, fleet-footed lefty who can push out to put defensive pressure on opposing players but have the awareness and speed to get back into the base D when it’s time. He’s also adept with his stick and has the lacrosse IQ to make smart decisions with and without the ball.
As Sullivan says, “He’s won Minto Cups and Mann Cups, he’s been successful at every level he’s been at. He’s a true leader, a great character person. I just see him taking the bull by the horns and running with it and having a great rookie year.” Sounds like music—or should we say a pleasing buzz—to any Swarm fan’s ears.Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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