ST. LEO, FLA. – Jake Gilmour is part of the newest wave of Canadian players making a major impact on the landscape of NCAA lacrosse.
Gilmour, 20, came to the Saint Leo University lacrosse program after excelling as a member of Ontario-based Edge Lacrosse, the top club team in Canada.
Although the attackman drew interest from several Division I schools like Rutgers, a joint visit with friend Zach Lysyk helped sway Gilmour towards choosing Saint Leo.
“The campus literally looks like you’re driving into a Hollywood movie set with all the palm trees,” he said. “I’ve played here for three years now and I haven’t seen a field that is nicer that ours. I loved the family aspect and the guys here. I’ve got 50 best friends on this team. All that played into my decision.”
Playing time was also a major factor in the decision. Nick Cotter, a former assistant coach at Saint Leo, offered Gilmour an immediate starting spot.
“When I was touring Division I schools, I sat down with my dad and he said, ‘Do you really want to sit on the bench for your first couple of seasons?’ And I wanted to make that impact immediately,” Gilmour said.
Since joining the Lions, Gilmour has 126 career points in 33 career games. In the Lions’ last game, he scored nine points, six of which were goals, in a 26-3 win. Gilmour set the team single-game points record and the career assists record (61) in the victory.
Although Gilmour appreciates the accolades, he said he’d rather split the honour with all 50 of his teammates.
That’s the leadership that coach Brad Jorgensen saw in Gilmour when he named him team captain this season. Jorgensen, who has been the head coach of the Lions since 2005, their first season, said that Gilmour has been a great asset to the Lions attack over the past few seasons.
“Jake is someone teams have to circle on their scouting reports. He knows how to both drive the net and distribute the ball. He also strives with the personnel around him,” Jorgensen said.
The Lions have come out of the gates strong, beating seventh-ranked LIU-Post en route to a 4-1 record. Now ranked 15th in Division II, Gilmour believes his team can make a major splash in the NCAA tournament.
“We knew going into our first game that we lacked the respect that we wanted. We felt like teams sniffed at us and flipped the page on our season,” he said. “Coach told us that we have the guys and we have the skill. We know there isn’t one team that’s going to roll over us and that’s a great feeling going into May and the NCAA tournament.”