Down. Set. “Whistle.” – Is the first thing you hear before the start of every lacrosse game. This month we look at the set up of a face off stick and get insight from Joe Nardella and Charlie Raffa.
As a senior at Rutgers, Nardella earned All-America third team and Scholar All-America honors. Nardella went 223-of-333 (.670) at the faceoff X, ranking third in the nation, and led the Scarlet Knights with 125 ground balls. In addition to being named first team All-Big Ten, Nardella was also named the Big Ten Specialist of the Year. In 2014, Nardella earned second team All-BIG EAST honors, ranking fifth nationally in faceoff win percentage (.632). Nardella also received second team All-BIG EAST honors during his sophomore year while finishing his season ranked fourth in the nation in faceoff win percentage (.622), winning 222-of-357 in faceoff attempts. Nardella was drafted as a midfielder by the Boston Cannons and is a co-founder of The Faceoff Factory.
A native of Syosset, N.Y., Raffa has been on fast track to lacrosse success since his playing days at St. Anthony’s High School, where he was a two-time NSCHSAA All-League selection, 2011 Under Armour All-American selection and led St. Anthony’s to back-to-back NY state championships. Playing for the Terrapins, Raffa played in 42 games over the course of his junior and senior years and recorded 11 goals and three assists for 14 points. Charlie won 373 of his 612 face-offs for a .609 win percentage while also recording 229 groundballs. Raffa is an Epoch Lacrosse Athlete and helps provided critical detail to Epoch engineers.