Professional: New York Lizards
JoJo Marasco has been making headlines in the lacrosse world for years now. In high school, he decided to recant his commitment to Ohio State and moved to Syracuse University. He walks into the Carrier Dome his sophomore year and dons the fabled 22 jersey, long known for greatness in lacrosse. Marasco worked tirelessly on his game and in time may have added a new dimension to the legend of 22.
His freshman season was one of high hopes for the Orange, who were the two time reigning National Champions. Sixteen points and a first round exit was not what was expected, but it may have held the determination of Marasco. The late Sunday night game where the Orange lost to Army showed the team that National Championships do take a work ethic of the most elite level and he was ready for the challenge.
Into his sophomore season, where all eyes were on the next 22, Marasco needed to make his mark. Moving from midfield to attack was a transition that he took well to. He led the Orange in points on the season with 41, was second in goals with 23 and tied for first in assists with 18. Still there was work to do. He scored more than one point in all but three games that season and much of the offensive load was placed on his shoulders. The next step was taken. The freshman season ended in round one, the second ended in the Quarter Finals to Maryland, who would be National Runner-up.
With the move back to midfield, his third year on the hill was an adjustment period. Fourth on the team in points, but first within the midfielders, the team slowed the advancement that had been seen since his first day on campus. Twelve goals and 19 assists is not a bad season by any stretch, but not what the Orange faithful had hoped for. The attack produced much of the scoring and the midfield played a background role. This season ended in the First Round to Duke University. Now with his senior season approaching, Morasco must have felt as though his mark hadn’t been left yet though there was still time.
JoJo Marasco came to set his stamp on the legend of 22 and to lift the Orange to their usual place amongst the national elite. The Orange had their facilitator back and the offense was moving again. The defense that had been so strong the year prior finally had the offense that it was expecting. In the first game of the season, Morasco scored eight points on three goals and five assists. The Orange had their 22 back.
The Orange had an offense that moved through their midfield and Marasco gladly enjoyed the role he played. Success followed for him and the Orange. Scoring in every game his senior year, Marasco ended the year with 24 goals and 42 assists. Most attackman wished they had the opportunity to put up those numbers and he was doing so playing both ends of the field as a midfielder. He was not a liability on defense, which is typical of offensive midfielders; Marasco earned every honor he received. Even though his team came within one game of champions, he signified Syracuse’s motto of head, heart, and hustle. The foundation was laid for how the Orange would be successful now in the ever changing dynamic of college lacrosse.
In the end of his days at Syracuse, he garnered Honorable Mention Honors as a Sophomore and First Team All American Honors as a Senior. He was an All Conference Selection repeatedly and Midfielder of the Year as a Senior. Marasco even had a seat at the Tewaaraton Table as one of the finalists for player of the year in college lacrosse. Drafted by the New York Lizards, he played in eight games, scoring nine points in the process.
Every team needs a member that is continually working on their game, no matter how good they are. Marasco set that tone from his days on the hill and now has gotten him to the most elite level of the game. His ascension to the top of the lacrosse world has been garnered through hard work and dedication to his craft. He didn’t inherit the fabled 22 jersey, he earned it. In the end, his climb to the top of lacrosse could be most seen by his work this summer in Denver as a member of Team USA.
– Brian Davies