A decade of dedication to lacrosse has paid off in full for Benedictine University Eagles sophomore Robert Abbott.
Abbott, who graduated from South Hill’s Emerald Ridge High School in 2012, became the first player in Benedictine’s school history to earn the Midwest Lacrosse Defensive Play of the Week award on April 28. Abbott won 11 of 13 face-offs in a 18-1 victory in the season finale against Fontbonne.
The Eagles, which are an NCAA Division-III collegiate program, finished the 2014 regular season with an overall record of 10-6. Benedictine of Lisle, Illinois, went 7-9 during the 2013 season. Abbott relishes the role of being one of the Eagles’ top stoppers on the defensive end of the field.
“One of the differences between high school and college is that everyone here is huge. Most players are 6 feet tall and weigh between 185 pounds to 200 pounds. I’m sitting here at 160 pounds and I’m 5 foot, 8 inches tall,” Abbott said. “I use my speed and just outrun people. Most people can’t catch me. When I go against big guys I just kind of slip through to get past them. In college everything is a bang-bang play so you have to make your moves and know exactly what you’re doing.”
Abbott considers himself a student of the game.
“Most of the guys I play against have only been playing lacrosse for between three to five years. This is my ninth year. When you have played a sport for almost a decade, it allows you to have an edge,” he said. “I play a smart game and I think two steps ahead of my opponent when they’re still thinking in the moment. That allows me to limit and make much fewer mistakes.”
Abbott said the future is bright for the Eagles lacrosse program.
“We did a lot better than our record shows. Three of our losses came early in the season. We’re a young team with mostly sophomores and freshmen. We have to put the hammer down and know we have to play a complete game and not just play well for a quarter or two,” he said. “Last year we had 15 players on the team, this year we had 22 and next year will have 47 players. That depth is going to help our team a lot.”