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Lizards’ JoJo Marasco happy to be back where he started

JoJo Marasco controls the ball against Chesapeake's Dan

JoJo Marasco controls the ball against Chesapeake's Dan Burns in their Major League Lacrosse game at Icahn Stadium on June 6, 2013 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images / Jim McIsaac

JoJo Marasco learned firsthand about the business side of Major League Lacrosse back in November.

The 26-year-old midfielder had just finished his fourth straight successful campaign with the Lizards, the team that drafted him out of Syracuse in the fifth round (37th overall) of the 2013 MLL collegiate draft.

Despite his role in the Lizard’s 2015 MLL championship, Marasco was shipped to the Rochester Rattlers on Nov. 15 in exchange for the No. 4 selection in the 2017 draft.

In a series of moves made later in the offseason, the Florida Launch wound up with that pick.

“It gave me a little surprise,” said Marasco, who also was an All-Star in 2015. “I didn’t know too much about it, but I understand how the league goes. I had no issues with getting traded.”

But after just six games with the Rattlers, Marasco is back with the team that gave him his start. In a move announced on the team’s official site on June 6, the Lizards reacquired Marasco from Rochester for a fourth-round draft pick next year.

“We are really excited to get JoJo back in black,” coach Joe Spallina said in the announcement. “He was a huge part of our success over the past four seasons and is a great locker room guy. I think JoJo can help jump-start our team.”

He found himself right back in the lineup during the Lizards’ 15-14 overtime loss to Florida last Saturday, notching an assist.

The loss wasn’t an ideal start to his second stint with the team. The winner scored by defender Alec Tulett appeared to be a crease violation, but Marasco said the officials ran off the field instead of reviewing the goal — something that is required by the league.

The loss dropped the Lizards to 2-4 as they head into Saturday night’s game versus Rochester at 7 p.m. at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. Regardless, Marasco is happy to be back in the Lizards’ colors.

“Coach Spallina and I have a great relationship,” he said. “It’s a battle in this league, and if he thinks there’s a better roster spot, I guess that’s what happened. I’m happy to be back in the black and green.”

As if Marasco needed any more motivation to prove that he’s excited to play in front of the Lizards’ home fans for the first time this season. “It’s definitely a little extra motivation,” he said. “It’s going to be tough. They know me just as much as I know them.”


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