Mark Glicini Making Most of his Second Chance in Box Lacrosse


In the PLL, Glicini was the Jimmy Regan Teammate of the Year Award winner.

The Yale lacrosse family helped bring Mark Glicini to the National Lacrosse League. His work ethic and the relationships he built helped keep him there.

Glicini, a stellar short-stick defensive midfielder in the field game, is suiting up in his first NLL season with the San Diego Seals. After building up an impressive reputation outdoors, the four-year pro is looking to do the same in the box game.

So, what got him to finally give box a try? Fellow Yale lacrosse alum Joe Tsai, who joined the NLL as the owner of the expansion Seals.

“He’s part of the Yale lacrosse family, and when I came to understand he owned the team out here, I said ‘Why not go out to San Diego and see what this box game is all about?’ Glicini said.

Glicini flew across the country to the Seals’ first ever training camp prior to last season, taking part in the team’s open tryout. At the time, he didn’t have a single game of box experience under his belt.

“I didn’t even understand what to do or anything,” Glicini said. “I was just thrown right into the fire. I guess that’s the best way to go about it, to be honest. Nothing wakes you up more than getting back-picked and almost breaking a rib right at the start.”

That doesn’t mean he didn’t impress. His demeanor and fitness level made a good first impression. Seals head coach Patrick Merrill remembers Glicini doing over 40 pull-ups during testing. That’s probably not surprising from a certified fitness trainer.

“He blew us away with the results of his fitness test,” Merrill said. “Just a really hard-working guy.”

Glicini earned a spot in the Seals’ main camp but didn’t get much time to prove himself due to a lengthy CBA negotiation shortening camps league-wide. He made it to the final cut, but Merrill and the San Diego staff didn’t have enough of an opportunity to really get a feel for a player brand new to the indoor game.

“We only really had a weekend to make the team,” Merrill said. “We just felt he wasn’t ready. He was close, he was one of our last cuts. We told him, ‘We’d love to have you back next year.’”

The Seals gave Glicini a bit of homework as a parting gift: Watch as much NLL as he could in preparation for camp No. 2 this last winter.

Without an NLL team, Glicini turned his focus back outdoors. There, he’d have a truly transformative summer.

While he was respected in college and Major League Lacrosse, the first season of the Premier Lacrosse League served as a sort of coming out party on the national stage. As a member of Chaos LC, he built a reputation as one of the toughest players in the league thanks to his admirable willingness to jump right in front of a shot.

He was a nominee for the league’s George Boiardi Short Stick Midfielder of the Year Award and took home Jimmy Regan Teammate of the Year honors at the PLL’s inaugural awards banquet.

“He was always a good player, we knew that,” Chaos coach Andy Towers said. “But I didn’t know that he was, in my opinion, the best short-stick d-midfielder in the world … What Mark brings to anything he touches is 100% authenticity. That’s just really kind of rare.”

Merrill was following the PLL closely, thanks partially to his brother Brodie also suiting up for Chaos LC. But there was a professional motivation as well, especially considering the aggressiveness of NLL expansion. General managers will need to find new sources of talent, and the speedy PLL makes for a sensible transition.

Merrill liked what he saw from Glicini, who was invited back for a second training camp. This time, he’d have the benefit of a full camp, plus the knowledge he gained by following through on his homework assignment.

“Right when [the PLL season] ended, I reached out to Patty and our defensive coordinator, Billy Greer, and I said, ‘Can you send me clips from last year?’” Glicini said. “‘I just want to go over different plays, see what works, see what doesn’t work, pick your ear.’ … I just watched a ton of film to get ready for this training camp.”

His work paid off, earning him a spot on the Seals’ opening day roster.

Glicini has played three games with the Seals this season, snagging 13 loose balls while forcing two turnovers. He said he’s started to get more comfortable, getting adjusted to the two-man game and some unfamiliar foes. Helping in the transition is the nature of his outdoor role.

“I’m used to moving my feet and staying with guys, not having the extension of a six-foot pole, backpedaling, shuffling, flipping my hips and getting ready to crosscheck guys,” Glicini said.

Will Glicini be able to carve a niche indoors long term? His PLL coach has learned not to doubt him.

Said Towers: “Any environment that relies on team chemistry, physical durability, mental toughness, selflessness, fearlessness, are all environments where Mark Glicini is going to thrive.”

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