Clumsy is the main word that comes to mind when Marquette men’s lacrosse coach reflects on watching sophomore Ben Dvorak’s first practice with the Golden Eagles after transferring from Bellarmine (Ky.).
Dvorak possesses football athleticism after playing in high school, but his collegiate experience and leadership have made him stand out in his first year with his new team.
“(Dvorak) has done such a good job since he’s been here and really appreciated the opportunity that Marquette has given him,” Amplo said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked. He’s becoming a leader and player that we hoped he would become.”
Dvorak is soft-spoken, but uses his actions on and off the field to make up for his lack of vocal leadership. Sophomore midfielder Connor Hewett spends enough time with his teammate to know that the way Dvorak carries himself is always consistent.
“Going into the weight room every day, (Dvorak) sets the tone. Everyone just tries to follow his example,” Hewett said. “Once you really get to know him, he’s a good guy. He cares for you.”
A native of St. Charles, Ill., Dvorak grew up playing baseball, basketball, hockey, football and lacrosse. When it came to high school, he focused on just football and lacrosse. As a senior, he was named Illinois Midfielder of the Year and earned All-State honors.
He headed south to Kentucky and played for Bellarmine for a year, where he scored goals against Mercer and Michigan in limited playing time as a freshman. One year of NCAA experience is more than the 14 freshmen currently on the team. Dvorak contacted the Marquette coaching staff once the announcement was made that a Division I team was starting up in Milwaukee.
After talking to coaches at Bellarmine, Amplo saw Dvorak as a fit on the team and offered him a spot on the roster.
The biggest strength that Dvorak brings on the field is his athleticism, where he is quick enough to cover opposing players. His first step is to figure out the defensive tactical scheme that Marquette runs and his redshirt year is playing a big role in the team’s development.
“He has shown throughout this year that he is on a path to become one of the first three guys that we put out on game day on our first midfield,” Amplo said. “If he continues to improve like he has, I have no reason believe why he wouldn’t be on our first line-up.”
Dvorak has made it a mission of his to be one of the players that carries the team after a year of learning what it’s like to win and lose games.
“I want to set myself out and be a team leader for everybody. I want to win us games and keep our team going,” Dvorak said. “If we don’t win games it’s all abut the progress that we made as a team and individually.”
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