MANALAPAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Explaining the concept of the faceoff in lacrosse to someone who has never seen it (or played hockey) is a struggle. That's because it's one of the most unique aspects of the game.
Ask new fans to describe that a faceoff is and they will likely answer something like, “Two players, one from each team, march to the center of the field at the start of quarters, or after goals, and seem to wrestle until one of them gets the ball, or it flies out to one of their teammates.”
Technically, they’re not wrong. But in the minutiae of “seem to wrestle for the ball” there exists not only another aspect of the game -- but an entirely different world.
The world of faceoffs, and the young men that take them, is full of fascinating and colorful characters. Everyone agrees that goalies are a different breed of strange, but the beautiful mind of a faceoff man dedicated to his craft? You might as well be talking to a mad genius or a savant musician.