In four years with the Loyola Maryland men’s lacrosse program, Jared Mintzlaff has been one of the team’s top short-stick defensive midfielders, compiling 59 ground balls, 47 caused turnovers, 11 goals and five assists.
The senior ranks third on the Greyhounds — who are the No. 6 seed in the NCAA Division I tournament — this spring in caused turnovers (12) and has added 12 ground balls, two goals and one assist.
The Illinois resident shared his thoughts on his final year at Loyola, his journey to becoming a short-stick defensive midfielder and his life as the son of Air Force parents.
Jared, how would you describe your senior year personally?
It’s been an incredible year. Definitely great to be with the team one last year, and I think this has been one of our best years so far that I’ve been here. And I’m nothing but excited for the future as far as this weekend and hopefully continuing on the rest of the year.
As a short-stick defensive midfielder, what’s a better feeling: picking up a ground ball, causing a turnover, or scoring a goal?
Definitely scoring a goal, I think, is one of the best feelings. So I’m going to have to go with that.
As a senior at O’Fallon High School in Illinois, you scored 52 goals and had 34 assists. How did you become a short-stick defensive midfielder here at Loyola?
Actually, when I went to school in Illinois, it’s not that big of a lacrosse area. So when I came out here at Loyola, Coach Toomey had recruited me, and when I came here, the first thing I said was, “You know, I’m here to be wherever you need me.” So I played a little bit of long pole, a little bit of short stick and really just tried to fit in wherever they needed me and be whoever the team needed me to be the last four years.
Your parents are members of the Air Force, and you’ve lived in nine different areas. What was that like for you growing up?
It’s definitely an experience. It’s awesome kind of growing up and moving from place to place and getting to experience different people and cultures. And it definitely made me appreciate sports a little bit more, too, as well because that’s really what you carry over from move to move, is sports.
What’s the best area you lived in and why?
I would definitely say Hawaii for obvious reasons. It’s an incredible place, and it’s kind of where I started to find my love for lacrosse surprisingly. And it’s always 70 and sunny. So you can’t really complain about that.