Marlatt overcomes injuries to excel
A.J. Godeaux | Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Jim Marlatt has come a long way since he first stepped foot on the Notre Dame campus four years ago.
The All-American senior midfielder came to campus as a highly touted recruit, ranked 46th overall in the class of 2010 by Inside Lacrosse, but watched his entire freshman year from the bench after struggling with injuries and ultimately being redshirted.
“It was a little difficult not being on the field [freshman year],” Marlatt said. “But one thing I was able to do is watch and observe two great all-American midfielders in David Earl and Zach Brenneman. They were really instrumental in helping me learn what it takes to be a leader and great player at this level.”
With the loss of Earl and Brenneman to graduation after Marlatt’s freshman year, it wasn’t long until Marlatt got his opportunity, as he was thrown into the starting lineup immediately by Irish coach Kevin Corrigan.
“Any time you don’t play that much, you have a chip on your shoulder,” Marlatt said. “When you get on the field, you just want to prove why you’re here, and I just wanted to come in and show I could contribute.”
“Contribute” might not be the best way to describe Marlatt’s opening season for the Irish, though. “Dominate” may be better, as he scored 19 goals and dished a team-high 11 assists on his way to a first team all-Big East selection.
Marlatt followed his superb sophomore campaign with an equally, if not more impressive junior season, notching 32 points off of 20 goals and 12 assists en route to USILA third team All-American honors, as well as a second-straight first team All-Big East selection.
Despite the individual awards he’s racked up the past two seasons, Marlatt said the accolade he is most proud of is being named a captain this year.
“It’s an unbelievable honor, because it’s from my teammates and coaches,” Marlatt said. “It’s something I’ve always aspired to, and especially to be voted alongside one of my best friends, (senior defenseman) Stephen O’Hara, my roommate for three years, is really unique and a great experience.”
With team captain checked off now, only one goal remains on Marlatt’s checklist, something he hasn’t done since he helped lead River Hill High School to a Maryland state title his senior year of high school: win a postseason tournament.
“We were able to win a Big East regular season championship [in 2012] and that puts a better taste in your mouth, but we weren’t able to finish in back-to-back years in the Big East playoffs, so finishing strong and bringing home a championship, especially in our first year in the ACC, is something we really want to get done this year.”
That being said, Marlatt cautioned that he and the rest of team aren’t looking that far ahead just yet.
“The most important thing for us is that we try to get better every day,” Marlatt said. “Obviously you want to win every game and win championships, but if you focus on getting better each and every day those things tend to fall in place. That’s something I’ve been trying to do since I got here and something our team does really well.”
Marlatt said, in addition to bringing Notre Dame its first ACC and NCAA championship, he wants to be certain he imparts two simple lessons to the younger players on the Irish squad before he leaves.
“It’s cliché, but just have fun,” Marlatt said. “We’ve got a lot of players on this team and not everyone can see the field. Division I lacrosse can be a very stressful experience at a tough academic school, so just being thankful for the opportunity to play is important, too, because it goes by quick.