Senior attackman Nick Mandia is all about lacrosse every minute of his life, but he does not have a problem with that.
Mandia is majoring in Biokinetics in hopes of being a strength-conditioning coach at a university. He also wants to go back to school after graduation for sports management.
Before Mandia can complete those tasks, he has one big duty ahead of him: winning the MAC Championship.
“That is the goal of the team,” Mandia said. “The way the MAC is laid out this year, it could be a doable thing for us.”
Mandia has come a long way in the game of lacrosse. Mandia led the Eagles in points last season, recording 24 goals. Surprisingly, Mandia only started playing the game during his first-year of high school as a midfielder.
“I think (during) my sophomore year of high school, I was that addicted to the sport that I wanted to play it in college,” Mandia said. “I always wanted to play a college sport – I just didn’t know which one.”
Mandia has excelled in his new position as attackman for the Eagles. Mandia did not start his college career at Eastern though. Mandia originally went to Salisbury University, one of the top Division III schools for lacrosse.
“I learned a lot when I was down there,” Mandia said. “I was a red-shirt so it was an amazing learning experience. It was a crash course every practice. The experience at Salisbury helped me grow as a player.”
Mandia made the trip north to Eastern, and was later joined by his younger brother, Matt, on the team.
“I was raised in a big, loving, Italian family,” Mandia said. “It is really cool to be around that. My brother and I are rooming in college right now. There are not a lot of brothers that could do that.”
Not only does Mandia live with his brother, but he goes up against him at practice everyday.
“In practice he marks me the entire day,” Mandia said. “I think that is cool because it makes us better. He pushes me every day.”
Mandia will also push himself all throughout the season as he looks to make his senior year a memorable one.
“I look forward to finishing school and moving on to real life,” Mandia said. “That will be a daunting task, but at the same time exciting.
“Most importantly, I want to finish off my athletic career as strong as possible,” he said. “I don’t want to go out weak. I want to make sure I leave everything on the field this season.”
Mandia has been leaving everything on the field for the Eagles every year, so it is hard to imagine the same thing will not happen again.