Saint Leo sophomore set to join the Beaches in Toronto

19-year-old Knoetgen to play indoor lacrosse in Ontario this summer

Aidan Knoetgen poses in fron of the Saint Leo lacrosse field bleachers with his stick resting on his shoulders.
Aidan Knoetgen first fell in love with lacrosse while watching on TV as a second grade student. (Photo by Aidan Cowling-McDonnell) 

ST. LEO, Fla.- After ditching the New York cold for Florida heat last year, Saint Leo field lacrosse player Aidan Knoetgen is heading even further up north to take on a new challenge this summer.

The 19-year-old sophomore will join Toronto Beaches, of the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League, and play the box game for the first time.

Knoetgen, from Center Moriches, Long Island, is excited to experience a new sport and country.

“I can’t wait,” he said, last Friday on the Saint Leo campus. “I’ve never been to Canada, and it’s a very different game. It’s a lot faster, more physical, and it’s obviously indoors.”

Knoetgen isn’t joining the Beaches alone, he’ll be travelling with fellow Lions forward Greg Palmer and staying with his family in Holland Landing, Ontario, north of Toronto.

They’ve developed a strong bond since becoming teammates in 2023.

 “My roommates Jimmy [McGonigle] and Ben [Quinn], and Greg, we’re all close,” he said. “Me and Greg have been watching a lot of box, and practices are only 30 minutes away from his house, so it’ll be nice.”

While on the field, Knoetgen is eager to get his teammates involved. He feels his passing ability is the best aspect of his game.

Knoetgen’s teammate Thomas Palumbo agrees.

“He’s one of the better feeders we have on the team. If I’m up top and I’m looking for a pass, I’m almost positive he’ll find me,” Palumbo said, while standing on the Lions’ home field. “I’ve only known him for a couple of months, but I feel like we’ve grown pretty close.”

Knoetgen has 15 assists in 15 career games so far with Saint Leo.

On gameday, you can find Knoetgen getting a massage before putting on his AirPods in the locker room and listening to Dreams and Nightmares by Meek Mill before he takes the field.

Kneotgen passing the ball back and forth with his teammate Thomas Palumbo.
Knoetgen shows off his passing skills while playing catch with freshman teammate Thomas Palumbo. (Photo by Aidan Cowling-McDonnell)

While he’s proud of his playmaking ability, the business major is hoping for his coaches, including head coach Brad Jorgenson, to help improve other areas of his game.

“I definitely need to work on shooting a little bit more. I want to be more deceptive when shooting,” Knoetgen said. “I have very good coaches. They’ve taught me a lot and they’re amazing.”

Despite have a long way to go in college career, Knoetgen knows having a short memory is key to success.

“I always try to like to stay locked in. If I make a mistake, I’ll just wipe it and move on to the next play,” he said. “It’s pretty hard sometimes, but that mindset is definitely important.”

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Posted: Mar 12 2024 9:47 pm
Filed under: College Lacrosse NCAA Other Sports Sports