Veteran Colsey Ready to Help U.S. Indoor Team


Roy Colsey, inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2012, had a goal and an assist to help the White team to a 13-12 victory in a U.S. exhibition game on Saturday night.

BALTIMORE – When they popped their navy blue helmets off afterward, Roy Colsey, all 44 years of him, was easy to find. Low-cut hair, grayed on the sides. Posing for a picture with four kids from his Connecticut-based youth lacrosse program.

Of course he’d talk about what just transpired.

Colsey, who was inducted to the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2012 and last played professional lacrosse in 2008, was one of the 40 invitees who suited up Saturday night in a 60-minute Team USA indoor exhibition, which served as one-part evaluation opportunity in the 2019 U.S. indoor national team tryout process and one-part exposure for the box game in the United States before a packed crowd at DuBurns Arena in southeast Baltimore.

What exactly was Colsey doing here?

“I want to see the U.S. teams do well,” he said, voice hoarse after a game spent yelling directions and encouragement (and notching a goal and an assist). “I want to see us pick it up. I’ve been spending a lot of time coaching and teaching box lacrosse. This turned out to be a great opportunity to get out with the young guys and try to help them figure this out a little bit.”

Colsey won two national championships at Syracuse in the 1990s and was national midfielder of the year in 1995, then went on to have a celebrated Major League Lacrosse and National Lacrosse League career, playing eight and nine years in each pro league, respectively. His resume describes him accurately as one of the rare U.S.-born players to enjoy consistent crossover success in the indoor and field games.

He won three MLL titles with the Barrage and recorded more than 600 points in his NLL career, and he also was part of the U.S. indoor team in 2002 that beat Canada in the Heritage Cup.

Box lacrosse now is part of the curriculum and offerings of his instructional company, Superstar Lacrosse. A father of three, Colsey also coaches the high school team at Ridgefield (Conn.) and teaches physical education at a middle school in Chappaqua, N.Y. by day.


Players from the youth team Colsey coaches in Connecticut were on hand to see the legend play on Saturday night.

His indoor experience –  and that of 37-year-old Anthony Kelly, who also played Saturday – was wanted to help two 20-man rosters that featured players largely unfamiliar with the green turf, dasher boards and mammoth-padded goalies of the indoor game.

Many who played in the exhibition, like former Johns Hopkins midfielder Cody Radziewicz, who found himself guarding Colsey at one point, were nearly half Colsey’s age, had limited exposure to box lacrosse, or were completely new to the indoor game.

“It’s a difficult game to learn on the fly,” Colsey said. “Many of these guys have never played box lacrosse.”

Former Duke star Myles Jones was one.

In his first-ever box experience, Jones rotated shifts with Colsey on the left side of Team USA’s white squad that also included Marcus Holman and Rob Pannell.

“That man is full of knowledge,” Jones said of Colsey. “I could easily pick his brain and learn things about the box games. He was very vocal. He was a leader and he made plays when we needed it. That’s what you want from a veteran like him.”

Colsey notched both of his points in the first half, but was on the floor for most of the fourth quarter, too. “Trying to close it out,” he said, and indeed played a crucial role in doing that, setting a pick that led to Holman’s game-clinching goal to give their side a 13-10 lead with 4:57 left.

“Me and Myles worked together, and Marcus and Pannell,” Colsey said. “It was awesome. I was just trying to get them open. In box lacrosse, you can really do a lot of that. I’m not quick enough or fast enough to get my own shot. I told the guys it’s kind of like riding a bike except I could really use one of those electric bikes. I could use that motor."

It remains to be seen if Colsey would make next year’s final roster for the Federation of International Lacrosse world indoor championships in Langley, British Columbia. With the NLL season ongoing Saturday, no Americans on active NLL rosters played in the U.S. exhibition, though reigning league rookie of the year, the Toronto Rock’s Tom Schreiber, stood on the bench next to U.S. indoor coach Regy Thorpe. Saturday’s exhibition, held in conjunction with the US Lacrosse Convention, served primarily as an opportunity for Thorpe and his staff to evaluate the potential of players new to box, and help them learn the game.

“We’re trying to build these evaluation camps where we can bring different people in,” Thorpe said. “Roy reached out to us. In 2019, most likely he’s not going to be on the team there, but getting a guy who has played in the NLL who’s been a 50-goal scorer with his experience, somebody like Anthony Kelly, who’s been around a long time, to bring them into camp and help the young guys, from the outside looking in, it looks out of the box, but to have them in our locker room and to hear them talk, and to hear their stories, it was an unbelievable experience for the young guys.”

One of those stories?

“From Day One, he said I’m a resource as much as I want to make this team,” Jones said. “Anything you guys need, let me know. I played for a long time, just reach out to me. … He does want to make this team.”

News and Notes

Jones said he enjoyed his first indoor experience and said he’s looking to play in the NLL. The New England Black Wolves drafted him 37th overall in the 2016 draft, but he hasn’t played for them. “I’m going to weigh my options going forward, hopefully land in a good organization where I can grow and learn more, and hopefully make a career out of it,” Jones said. “It’s in the works.” The crowed oohed early in the first quarter when the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Jones took on two defenders with a physical crease dive. …  Blaze Riorden, the former Albany goalie who played on the 2015 U.S. indoor team that took bronze in Syracuse, scored a game-high four goals for the white squad. Holman, who also played for the U.S. in 2015, had three. … Dylan Molloy, the 2016 Tewaaraton Award winner from Brown, scored once and had one assist for the blue side. … A boxscore and further game recap can be found here. … Once DuBurns Arena’s roughly 700-person capacity was reached, fans who wanted to watch the action did so through the windows of the arena along Boston Street, which runs along the western edge of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. … This is the first full international competition cycle in which the U.S. indoor team has functioned under the US Lacrosse umbrella. The national governing body took over full operations of the team in the lead up to the 2015 championships.

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