Former midfielder brings defensive prowess to Eli goaltenders

Coming off of an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament last spring, the men’s lacrosse team added another weapon to its coaching arsenal this summer.

This August, Yale head coach Andrew Shay introduced former Ohio State (OSU) lacrosse captain Andrew Stimmel as the Bulldogs’ new goaltending coach. Stimmel spent the past two seasons as head coach for the Grove City College lacrosse team, where he led the Wolverines to an Elite 8 appearance in the 2013 Division II national tournament. Leading Grove City to a 10–2 overall record last season, Stimmel earned Division II National Coach of the Year honors.

“Coach Shay has a reputation in the lacrosse community as being one of the best coaches in the game and [assistant coaches Graham] Niemi and [Andrew] Baxter have had incredible success as offensive and defensive coordinators,” Stimmel said. “Being around that caliber of staff coupled with the unique team culture they’ve developed made it a phenomenal opportunity at one of the best universities in the world.”

Stimmel joins the Elis with plenty of defensive experience, including his work helping coach the goalies at Grove City. As a defensive midfielder for the Buckeyes in college, Stimmel earned the 2010 Team Defensive MVP award. There, he actually played under then-OSU assistant coach Baxter, the Bulldogs’ current defensive coordinator. Stimmel said he believes his experience playing the defensive midfield position has helped him learn how to organize a defense and recognize which shots a goalie feels confident seeing.

“Having played a two-way role at times in college really aids in understanding what the offense is trying to accomplish, what part of the field they like to attack,” Stimmel said. “Along with that, as a midfielder in college, you’re watching film and breaking down the goalie scouting report on a weekly basis so it really ends up being a well rounded experience that allows you to bring a unique perspective to the position.”

In his limited time working with Stimmel, goaltender Jack Meyer ’14 said he loves the energy his coach exudes. He said his new coach already has started to plan workouts for the goalies and has been impressive in his understanding of the mental toughness needed to play goalie in lacrosse.

“Goaltending in lacrosse is a very mental thing and he seems to understand that side of the game very well,” Meyer said.

Captain Jimmy Craft ’14 added that he believes the coaching transition will be smooth for Eli goaltenders. In his conversations with Stimmel, Craft said the new hire shares a similar coaching style and philosophy with his predecessor.

Stimmel said that energy and passion is what he wants to bring to the program. He added that it takes a tremendous amount of effort to avoid becoming complacent over the course of an entire season and that he hopes to work with the goalies to avoid those pitfalls.

Stimmel was drafted by the Ohio Machine in the Major League Lacrosse Supplemental Draft, and has served as the director of curriculum and co-director of recruiting for Low and Away Lacrosse Camps in Pittsburgh.

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