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Cody Futia balances lacrosse, school and business

What makes Futia a valuable defender is his ability to sense where a play is going before it happens and then break it up.

"There's this thing I call lax IQ," said Futia. "I study an opponent and try to figure out what he's going to do with the ball. There's one of three things he can do " shoot it, pass it or drive it. My job is to correctly guess what he's going to do."

"To be able to antici-pate two or three plays or passes ahead is a skill he possesses," said McConaghy. "He obviously learned it from the coaches he worked with when he was younger, and he's passing that knowledge on to our younger guys."

Futia doesn't always guess correctly, which can lead to a goal. But he said he makes certain those times are rare.

"I get really mad when someone I'm guarding scores because it means I'm not doing my job right, so I learn from it and make certain it doesn't happen again," Futia said.

Futia also knows he can't do his job alone. That's why he's been working with his younger teammates in practices to get them up to speed.

"Another key component of good defense is trusting who's on your left and who's on your right," said Futia. "I have to trust that if someone gets by me, someone else is there to pick up the slack."

It's that balance between his individual skills and his teamwork that has raised Futia's game to a level few of today's Section II defenders have reached. He was recruited by several NCAA Division I lacrosse programs before picking the University at Albany, and he was invited to play for the under-19 USA Starz team going to the FIL World Championships July 10-24 at England's Manchester University.

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