March 14, 2007

Senior Mitchell Powers Deadly Red Offense

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What a difference a year makes. Coming into last season, senior David Mitchell was an unheralded attackman who had not seen much action in his two years. After a superb junior year, however, Mitchell entered this season as a preseason All-American and a contenderto become the nation’s leading scorer.

After playing one game as a freshman and only four points as a sophomore, Mitchell exploded onto the scene as a junior, scoring eight goals in the Red’s season-opener. He kept up his torrid pace throughout the season, in which he started all 14 games for the Red. Overall, the senior scored a team-high 43 goals — the first time that a Cornell player reached the 40-goal plateau since 2000 — and registered a point in every single game. For his efforts, Mitchell was named honorable mention All-American and first-team All-Ivy.

“You try and approach each game the same way,” Mitchell said. “Obviously, it takes that more mental physical preparation because you know that [the defense is] going to match up a little harder. You try and give yourself a bit of an edge any way you can.”

Before this season, Mitchell was one of 54 players around the country to be named to the Tewaaraton Watch List and was named a preseason second-team All-American by Inside Lacrosse.

Mitchell has gotten off to a solid start this season as wellx, having posted 10 goals and four assists in four games. He is tied with classmate Eric Pittard for the team-lead in goals. In a 13-8 win over Notre Dame on March 1, Mitchell paced Cornell (4-0) with a hat trick. His four assists are already nearly half of his 2006 total.

“I am always trying to make assists,” Mitchell said. “I think maybe this year, teams are sliding early or maybe going a little more aggressive to the ball when I have it. … It is kind of a sign of what the other teams are trying to do.”

Mitchell, who is from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, grew up playing box lacrosse, which is the version of the game played in Canada. In box lacrosse, lacrosse is played indoors, on a hockey rink without the ice. It was tough for Mitchell to initially adapt to the field lacrosse played in the United States.

“The rules are a little different, and the knowledge of the field game is not as in-depth and intense [in Canada] as it is [in the United States],” Mitchell said. “It was a huge adjustment.”