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Q&A with Loyola attackman Chris Palmer

Each week, The Baltimore Sun will publish a Q&A with an area college lacrosse player or coach to get you more acquainted with the player and his/her team. Today's guest is Loyola fifth-year senior attackman Chris Palmer, a transfer from Bucknell who has scored nine goals in his past four games, which coincides with his shift from midfield to attack.

Who approached you about making the position change and were you receptive to the move?

This was something that they came to me about. I had no intention to move to attack. I played all four years at Bucknell as a middie, and I was pretty comfortable there. It was after the Duke game that Coach [Dan] Chemotti [the team's offensive coordinator] came up to me and asked me if I've ever played attack before. I played once in high school, but that was a long time ago. I know that in the past, Coach Chemotti had been trying to find a way to get me more shots, and I think that was one of the reasons they moved me down there. The other was to kind of have a dodging presence, attacking the goal and making defenses move. I'm behind Coach Chemotti and whatever he decides.

What's the bigger thrill: scoring five goals in a game like you did against Ohio State on April 2 or scoring the game-winner in the fourth overtime like you did against Georgetown on Sunday?

I hadn't done either. I had never scored five goals — even in high school [The Lovett School in Atlanta]. And I never had a game-winner in overtime. So both were pretty great events. But I think the Georgetown one, which is pretty fresh in my mind, was pretty awesome.

After you scored the game-winner against Georgetown, was there a sense of jubilation that you had ended it or a sense of relief that there would be no fifth overtime?

That's a good question. You're asking a kid who is a fifth-year [student] and is just exhausted and trying to get the game over with. We called a timeout in the fourth overtime period, and Coach Chemotti came over to me and said, 'This play's for you.' I was kind of relieved because I was just dying to make a play and get it over with. We drew up the play, and I had a wide-open shot and missed it. But the very next time I got the ball, I scored. But I have to admit that I was feeling a little old at the time.

It appears the road to winning the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament and capturing the league's automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament goes through No. 5 Denver. How daunting is that challenge?

I think we're a different team right now. Our offense and defense are completely different from the last time we played them [a 12-8 loss on March 16]. We have more confidence, we're playing better, and we're playing smarter. So I feel like if we have that chance to play Denver, I think it's going to be a whole different game.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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