One of the keys to earning playing time as you try to move up the ladder in lacrosse is taking advantage when you get an opportunity. It would be hard to find a better example than a game Mitch Wilde had for the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks this summer. In just KW’s third game of the season, Wilde was still a rookie looking to get a chance to get on the floor regularly at the Major Series Lacrosse level. He was going to be a healthy scratch in a game at Oakville against the Rock, but when another defender couldn’t make it to the game, Wilde drew in. He played a solid game throughout, but his shining moment came in the final three minutes of a tightly-contested, low-scoring game. Wilde broke from the top of the defensive formation as goalie Mike Poulin was making a stick save on a Rock shot. Poulin led Wilde with a perfect over-the-shoulder lob pass that Wilde caught in stride past mid-floor and turned into the game-winning goal after a nice hard shot fake.
It was only one play in one game, but it helped lead to Wilde getting into 19 of the Kodiaks 20 games during the season, giving him a chance to show that he can compete against the players in the world. Wilde’s athleticism allows him to play aggressive man-to-man defense while not getting caught out of position. He’s not a big scorer, but he did total 5 goals and 6 assists thanks to his ability to take off with the ball, so he can help out in the transition game.
Wilde’s Whitby Warriors background means he’s already been coached by Derek Keenan, who has prepared plenty of players for the pro game. You can see the hallmarks of Keenan’s style in Wilde’s game. He employs a team-first approach to defense, showing discipline and intelligence, and he’s always looking to push the ball when there’s an opportunity. There’s that word again. Now Wilde is looking for an opportunity to prove that he has the chops to play in the NLL. Don’t bet against him.
Position: Defense / Transition
From: Brooklin, Ontario
Junior A: Whitby Warriors
What do you feel your greatest asset is that would allow you to translate your game to the NLL? I feel that the greatest asset to my game is my athleticism. I like to play a very aggressive and in your face style of defense and love to push the ball up the floor in transition for fast break situations. My game supports a very up tempo style of play, which I feel the NLL continues to move towards.
One word to describe your game? Athletic
What role/position do you see yourself playing in the NLL? I see myself playing a defensive transition role, but I am willing to play wherever a team needs me.
What current or former NLLer would you most closely compare or model your game after? Former coach of mine Steve Toll is a guy I like to model my game after. Just a player with pure speed that mastered the high pressure defense and blew people away with his ability to run the ball up the floor.
Your greatest accomplishment during your lacrosse career? Competing in two Minto Cups with the Warriors, and being able to win one with them in 2011.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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