Oftentimes, when a sports team is in its first year of existence, factors such as a lack of experience or growing pains have to be overcome as the program matures. However, in its inaugural season, the IMG Academy lacrosse team skipped the growing pains altogether, and are playing like a well-oiled machine. Through five games, the team has steamrolled its opponents and rocketed off to an astounding 4-1 overall record, leading the nation in scoring with an average of 18.8 goals per game according to the latest LAXPower.com standings. Defensively, led by goalie Parker Smith, a Memphis, Tenn. native, they also check in at No. 19 in scoring defense (No. 3 overall in Florida), only allowing 4.8 goals per game. The 14.00 scoring differential also gives IMG Academy a No. 1 ranking in net goals per game.
Prior to the year, Director of Lacrosse and Head Coach Bill Shatz announced his innovative offense, the 'DoubleCrosse,' designed to generate defensive confusion and new ways to attack the goal. The early evidence suggests that this new offense is as effective as it was drawn up to be. The team is led in scoring by junior attackman Jonathan Thelen who has notched 26 goals (5.2 per game) in the first five games. Thelen also leads the team in assists, recording a staggering 23 assists (4.6 per game). Second on the team in scoring is sophomore Jackson Costello who has added 18 goals of his own (3.6 per game).
Other standout performers early in the season have included seniors Nick Katz and Cody Gray, and sophomore Tyler Liotta.