Will Manganiello knew from the get-go that he wanted to stay locally to play his college lacrosse.
It wasn’t until a little bit later on, though, that he even started to consider Delaware.
“They weren’t really on the map too early,” Manganiello said. “But I went down to the campus mid-summer and felt like it was a good pick for me. It’s not too far from home. It’s about a 40-minute drive, so I can come back easily but get away if I need to.”
That’s how the Penncrest All-American attackman came to ultimately choose the Blue Hens over Drexel, Saint Joseph’s and Marist with the Dragons being the closest competitor for his services.
“It came down to Drexel and Delaware and I was also talking to St. Joe’s and Marist,” Manganiello said. “But I was focusing on Drexel and Delaware because I want to become an engineer and both have great engineering programs. I always kept (SJU and Marist) in the mix, but toward the end of the regular season and into the summer season, I just really decided that I wanted to do engineering.”
Another big sticking point for Manganiello was the vast difference between Drexel’s and Delaware’s respective campuses.
“Drexel is in the city,” Manganiello said, “and Delaware is more of a college campus in more of a college town, so that definitely swayed me toward Delaware. I like the city, but I just kind of want the “real” college experience.”
Manganiello, who plays club for NXT’s 2014 team, has been one of Delco’s top snipers over the past two years and projects to reprise that role next year as a senior. After scoring 18 goals as a freshman, he posted a 48-goal season as a sophomore and sniped 47 more goals this past year while becoming a more well-rounded attackman. He claimed All-Central, All-EPLCA and All-America honors in addition to a second-team All-Delco nod. He will be the driving force behind what many expect will be a Central League contender in 2014.
“We lost a couple great seniors,” Manganiello said, “but our (2014) class has something like 18 guys in it. We definitely don’t expect to lose that early (the Lions fell in the second round of District One play) next year. If we’re not winning the Central League, I expect us to be at least in the top three.”
To get there, Manganiello knows that he’ll have to have a big hand in things. He wants to improve his overall game, something that he’s done consistently for three seasons, and if he can do that, there’s no limit for his potential.
“I want to work on working with the whole team,” he said, “and I want to get everyone involved. It’s easy sometimes to dodge through defenders and score, but it doesn’t work all the time. When you get everyone involved, it definitely helps a lot.”
Well, sure, but a 50-goal season wouldn’t hurt, either.
Manganiello became the 12th Delco 2014 verbal and the second Lion to commit after FOGO/midfielder Dylan Protesto committed to Hartford. He will join Newtown Square native Jeff Heath, a St. Joseph’s Prep alum, on the Blue Hens’ roster in 2014. The entire list of Delco commitments can be found here.
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