Written by Record Pilot Staff, email@example.com Friday, 11 July 2014 00:00
Gregory Puskuldjian completed his four years at Adelphi University and graduated this spring with a degree in business and an incredible lacrosse career as a Faceoff Man playing for the Adelphi Panthers.
Puskuldjian joined Adelphi after graduation from North Shore High School, looking for an opportunity for a good education but to also to play lacrosse. Puskuldjian dabbled in many sports while he was younger and many remember him as a hockey and soccer player, but he always loved lacrosse.
In 2010, Puskuldjian joined the Adelphi Panthers as a walk on. As a freshman he really did not play much. He was the number five face-off man and did all of four face-offs his first year.
Adelphi’s coach Gordon Purdie said of Greg, “As a freshman, his stick skills were incredibly poor. After his first year he was our number five face-off guy and going into his second year, he was our number four face-off guy, which was low guy on the totem pole. He was that guy where everybody looked at him and said, ‘C’mon Greg,’ because— and I hate to say this — he was a bit of a drill-buster.”
Between the 2011 fall ball and 2012 season, his sophomore year, Puskuldjian completely transformed his game. He shed weight while training for a marathon and went out to the practice field every day to work on face-offs. He recorded several ‘down-set-whistle’ cadences into his iPhone and would put it on a loop as he trained by himself. He would do 100 face-offs a day.
He wanted a starting position and he got that chance in 2011. In that game he won 19 of 22 face-offs and never looked back. In his sophomore and junior seasons Puskuldjian had the best face-off winning percentage in the county, averaging a 70 percent win percentage.
Puskuldjian credits much of his success to his coaches Gordon Purdie and Joe Catalanotti who encouraged him to work hard. But he also credits much of his success to Coach Mike McGowan, the Chief of Police for the Hempstead Police Department. McGowan is a volunteer coach on the Adelphi coaching staff who worked with Puskuldjian at every practice. McGowan meticulously watched Puskuldjian and offered encouragement and pointers on how he could improve. Puskuldjian and McGowan became the most unlikely of partners, with McGowan saying, “I just love being around Greg, he works so hard.”
Puskuldjian’s lacrosse accomplishments are astonishing. Puskuldjian is a three time All American, three year All Conference Northeast 10 selection, Adelphi Sophomore Athlete of The Year, Adelphi Junior Athlete of the Year, Division II 2014 Specialty Player of the Year, 2012 and 2013 Division II Face Off champion.
Puskuldjian capped the 2014 season off by breaking the single season ground ball record as well as the all time ground ball record at Adelphi and was selected as Adelphi’s 2014 Athlete of the Year.