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MEET THE TIGERS: Senior Midfielder Randall Cooper
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 05/11/2009
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Senior midfielder Randall Cooper
Courtesy:Scott Thornton


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TOWSON, MD. - A close family friend, a dislocated shoulder and a summer job at Johns Hopkins helped Randall Cooper decide his career ambition at an age and time when a lot of college-bound high school seniors aren’t quite sure what they want to be when they grow up.

“Ever since my senior year in high school, I’ve known what I wanted to do with my life,” said Randall, a starting senior midfielder on the Tigers’ lacrosse team with a 3.85 grade point average  who will receive his degree in Biology later this month.

He wants to pursue a career in medicine either in research or as a surgeon.

“Most people who enter medical school with a preconceived notion of what direction they want to take in medicine wind up doing something else,” Randall said. “Right now, for me, it’s either as a general surgeon or possibly in oncological research. The research side of it actually interested me more than I thought it would.”

That family friend who influenced Randall was a general surgeon whom he shadowed for a senior project at Friends School. The dislocated shoulder was a lacrosse injury that left him wondering if he’d ever be able to pick up a lacrosse stick again. The summer job was working with cancer researchers at Johns Hopkins.

“The combination of those experiences just blew me away,” Randall said. “Since then my main focus has been preparing for medical school.”

Randall has taken the Medical College Admission Test (MCATS) but he’s not satisfied with the result and will retake it this summer. He is applying to medical schools located in major cities. A resident of rural Phoenix, Md., Randall wants to sample the urban lifestyle. The University of Maryland is his first choice. He expects the interview process to last through March. By next August he’ll begin the long journey through medical school.

It’s been quite the hike already.

Between lacrosse and classes there hasn’t been a lot of time for other things. Spring break trips to the beaches of Florida and Cancun or the slopes in Utah don’t exist in the world of college lacrosse players. For Randall, there hasn’t been much in the way of semester breaks either.

“I spent six weeks during the winter break studying,” Randall said. “The MCATS test you on what you should have learned in every science class you ever took so there was a lot of material to review.”

Was he prepared?

“People often ask me if attending Towson rather than a more prestigious university was the best idea when thinking about medical school,” Randall said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I have friends at Harvard who are taught by TA’s. At Towson, every one of my science classes has been taught by a professor who is a PhD and knows what he or she is talking about. So having gone through the entire undergraduate experience here I’ve been more than adequately prepared for what lies ahead.”

Randall could join Ralph Rucco (1975-77) and Robert Anastasi (1958-61) as former Towson lacrosse players who have entered the medical profession.

“Playing college lacrosse is a tough thing to do,” said Randall who served as a Tiger co-captain for the 2009 season. “But I’ve had a very positive experience here at Towson. And the big reason I chose to attend Towson was Tony Seaman.”

Coach Seaman recruited Randall who tallied 41 goals and had 22 assists as a senior at Friends. 

“Randall has been a key contributor to the Towson Lacrosse Program over his entire four-year career,” Coach Seaman said. “He has been one of our leading scorers, one of our true success stories in the academic world and one of our captains. In every way he has made the most out of his opportunities.” 

Randall was among Towson’s top four scorers for his last three years. He scored 19 goals and handed out 12 assists as a sophomore, leading Towson to an NCAA Tournament berth against Cornell. He was named to the CAA’s All-Tournament team that year too. He was the recipient of both the James Saxon and the Joseph Ferrante awards at Towson. He was a three-time member of the Colonial Athletic Association’s Commissioner’s List. This past year he was also selected as one of Lowe’s Senior Class Award candidates. 

Reluctant to hang up his stick, Randall wouldn’t mind testing the waters in the National Lacrosse League’s annual entry draft. He would like to continue playing as long as it doesn’t conflict with medical school. Juggling lacrosse and a demanding academic schedule is a feat he seems to have mastered.

-- TIGERS --

 


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