The man behind the twine

Freshman attack Jake Tomsik has emerged as a leading force both on and off the field in his first season in Hamden

By on April 3, 2018

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
It’s hard to have a conversation about Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse without mentioning freshman attack Jake Tomsik. He’s not only making a name for himself on the field, but off the field as well.

He’s off to a red-hot start this season leading the team in assists with 13, as well as trailing the team lead in goals by just four with 16 and points by one with 29 on the season.

Tomsik is also ninth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) with 2.90 points per game overall and seventh with 1.30 assists per game. He is helping a team that is looking to avenge a disappointing 2017 season where it finished with a 1-5 conference record and missed the MAAC Tournament.

The freshman standout is quickly making a name for himself in Hamden, it’s interesting to think where would the Bobcats, who are 2-0 in the MAAC and heading into the rest of conference play, would be without the Medway, Massachusetts native. That thought was almost a reality as he originally committed to Georgetown following his freshman year of high school.

“I went to a prep school for two years and then I went back to Medway for two years,” Tomsik said. “Quinnipiac just worked out a lot better.”

Tomsik also played hockey his entire life up until college. His father played hockey in college and, as a result, he has always been close with the hockey world. Ironically, it’s actually hockey that helped him discover lacrosse.

Lacrosse became the new sport for the his hockey teammates to play. When word got back to his father and all of his teammates rushed to join the lacrosse ranks, Tomsik was no exception. The only problem was that his town didn’t have a lacrosse team.

“I didn’t think I was going to be able to play and I think that made me want to play more,” Tomsik said. “[I was] like ‘dad you have to sign me up, dad you have to sign me up.’”

Luckily for Tomsik, his family knew someone who ran a lacrosse program in the next town over. Despite not being from that town, he was still allowed to play.

Part of the reason that Tomsik became a Bobcat, and potentially future freshmen coming to the program, is the brand new Quinnipiac Lacrosse Stadium, according to junior midfielder Jack Hill. Last season, the lacrosse team would travel to New Haven for its home games at Yale.

“Coming in as a freshman, knowing that you’re coming to a brand new facility and brand new stadium is just unreal because everything is untouched,” Hill said. “We’re making history every time we win a game here and it’s our new home. [Tomsik] gets to be a pioneer to come in and play on the Quinnipiac homefield.”

Brendan Dillon | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Tomsik signed his National Letter of Intent in the fall of his senior year, a year in which he tallied 109 points. But it was right around his junior year that Quinnipiac head coach Eric Fekete discovered him.

“Well, I saw Jake play when he was part of the 3D New England program, which is a club team,” Fekete said. “He has a super high level of skill, he has a really high IQ factor and he’s very competitive. That’s probably what I like the most about him. He plays hard, he competes in everything he does from the smallest drills to the big picture. Being the best and winning means a lot to him.”

And winning is just what he has been doing.

Tomsik and the rest of his freshman class have already doubled the Bobcats’ 2017 win total in MAAC play and surpassed last year’s overall win total. For Tomsik, that all starts on the practice field.

“He has that tempo and the speed, but the biggest part I think is his vision,” Hill said. “Even though when you’re guarding him and you’re trying to get in his hands, his head is always up. He’s looking to feed it so it’s really hard to just shut him down. If you get him out of the play he can still feed the ball inside or work it up top.”

The work on the practice field is paying off as the two-time MAAC Rookie of the Week has points in nine of the first ten games of his collegiate career. He has started in all ten of those games.

With all the attention Tomsik is gaining for his play, it’s fair to say that other teams are studying up on his tendencies. So how is it that he’s been able to add his name to the scoresheet in 90 percent of the games this season?

“The flexibility to be able to adjust,” Fekete said. “We do a lot of preparation in the week to make sure that we’re covering our bases if we see something we’re not prepared for, but on game day that could be down to individuals being able to make the adjustments and he never seems to struggle. When you talk to him he understands what you’re telling him and he knows how to make effective adjustments along the line.”

Despite his talent on the field, there was more that made Fekete want to see Tomsik as a Bobcat. When scouting out potential recruits, sometimes it’s best to not just look for the guys who want to be good players, but those who care about being good all around people.

“I think Jake is definitely an intense personality, he’s a really good student, he’s an achiever in every aspect,” Fekete said. “I think one of the things when we’re recruiting…is I’m not sure real achievers can pick their spots, I think it’s a personality trait. He’s great with his family, he’s great with his grandparents, he’s great in the classroom, but he cares about his interactions in every capacity he has. He takes pride in who he is and he does his business that way. I never worry about him in terms of his academics and I never worry about him in terms of his integrity.”

Fekete’s words are echoed as even his teammates can see the confidence that Tomsik brings to the table day in and day out.

“He doesn’t have an ego,” Hill said. “He’s not cocky just, ‘I’m going to play lacrosse, I’m going to play it because I want to be here and I’m having fun with it’ and it shows in his style.”

It’s these kinds of traits, both on and off the field, that make for a good leader. He is already considered a leader based on the way he plays, according to Fekete. Could that be what’s in store for Tomsik by time his senior year rolls around?

Tomsik hopes so, but at the same time, he doesn’t want to take away from his teammates who have helped pave the way for both his personal success and for the program as a whole.

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
“As a freshman it’s tough to balance that because I’m playing with all older guys,” Tomsik said. “I have to show that respect for them because they’ve been here and they’ve done this, they’ve grinded for two or three years and this is just my first year so I have to show respect for them, but at the same time I can’t just be passive… I’m trying to balance that with respecting the older guys.”

Confidence can take you a long way and Tomsik already has the confidence from not just his coach, but from some of his teammates as a future leader of this Bobcats team.

“I definitely see him as a future leader,” Hill said. “He’s only a freshman and he can only go up from here.”

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