Team USA men’s lacrosse rookies Lawson, Holman making impact

Chris Baird, TSN via Baird Photography
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COMMERCE CITY, COLO. – They may be rookies on this year’s Team USA squad competing at the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships, but David Lawson and Marcus Holman are no strangers to performing successfully on a big stage.

Both Lawson, an NCAA champion with the Duke Blue Devils, and Holman, an ACC tournament champion with the North Carolina Tar Heels and their all-time leading scorer, have broken out of their rookie shells to help lead the U.S. men’s national team in its two wins this past weekend.

Their performances showed their utility to the defending world-champion squad that now sits with a 3-0 record in the Blue division, the highest level of the nine groupings that sort out the 38 countries and teams competing in the event.

After easing into their first international competition in a 10-7 win over Canada last Thursday – Lawson finishing with a goal on two shots while Holman managed a shot towards goal – both players ignited their offensive fire against Team Australia on Saturday.

Lawson posted four goals and an assist with Holman close behind tallying three goals and an assist in a commanding 16-7 win for Team USA over its southern hemisphere opponent.

The next day, the pair continued to showcase their offensive talents as Lawson scored two goals to go along with an assist while Holman posted a goal and an assist in a dominating 21-3 win over Team Japan.

Taking a lead from national team veterans like former Duke star and NCAA champion Ned Crotty, who also provided significant scoring punch during his two past games (5 goals, 1 assist), Lawson and Holman continued to provide valuable shooting and scoring output to a Team USA squad that is once again the one to beat.

In all three games, both rookies along with Crotty have contributed 27 percent of Team USA’s shooting output (8/40 vs. Canada, 15/43 vs. Australia, 12/46 vs. Japan).

That comes as no surprise to anyone who watched them play during their successful collegiate careers in the Triangle.

Now, as part of a bigger whole, they have the chance to help Team USA and US Lacrosse to successfully maintain its spot at the top of the lacrosse world.

After playing three international games with impressive results to show for it, Lawson and Holman have passed their rookie tests.

Sure, under the tutelage and guidance of veterans like Crotty and others on Team USA, they will continue to learn, but make no mistake, they have established themselves as true offensive threats at this year’s World Championship tournament.

Team USA presents not only Crotty, Paul Rabil,  Brendan Mundorf, Kevin Buchanan, and Kevin Leveille to its opposition, but now has added Lawson and Holman to its list of significant offensive producers.

It will come as no surprise that both players assume more significant roles when Team USA takes to the field against Team England (Mon.) and the Iroquois Nationals (Tues.) and should finish divisional pool play with an unblemished record.

Accordingly from there, expect that Lawson and Holman will bring the fans who followed their successful careers at Duke and UNC even more pride when they can finish their impressive debuts at the international level with a gold medal hanging from their necks this weekend.