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2020 Marymount Men's Lacrosse Senior Tribute

2020 Marymount Men's Lacrosse Senior Tribute

As the game entered it's last two minutes of play, The Saints anxiously fought to protect their goalie as they waited for the whistle to blow.  Marymount was up 9 to 8 against Lebanon Valley. 

"I had turned to my teammate Mike and we just hugged each other because we knew all year that our team could be great and it finally showed," Lefti Spyridakis, a senior midfielder, said.

The team didn't realize this would be their last chance to celebrate together. The Coronavirus pandemic cancelled their season shortly after this victory.

Although the other 25 players will have next season to reprise their roles on the field, the four seniors on the team ended their lacrosse careers earlier than expected.

"It was a tough pill to swallow, but life is about expecting the worse, hoping for the best and cherishing the time you have,"  senior Kyle Dinsmore said. "For instance, having a family of [players]  like I've had for the past four years." 

Dinsmore has played lacrosse for 10 years. As a freshman and sophomore he was a back-up goalie, but changed to defensive midfield for his last two years. 

But one thing that didn't change was the bond he had with his teammates off the field.

"When we went paint-balling as a team, it was one of the more genuine experiences I've had," Dinsmore said.  "I've never felt more of a bond between my family even though I was being shot at by them. … We were just having fun like we did on the field all those games before that."

However, Dinsmore said it was his 2-year-old daughter, Maggie, who brought him and his teammates together the most during his time at Marymount.

"My lovely girlfriend made it to each and every game," Dinsmore said. "Even if it was rainy or cold they would always come and watch for a little bit or wait around until the end so we could all be together afterwards and so the rest of the team could be around and part of the whole experience too."

Dinsmore said his teammates helped welcome Maggie into the world the day she was born by visiting her at the hospital. 

"That's pretty much how I knew this team was more than just a lacrosse team but [29] extra siblings that genuinely want to be around and experience life together."

Coach Jon Reynolds said the team will miss Dinsmore's comradery on the field next year.

"I am not sure that anyone I have coached embodies the example of what it means to be a Saint more than Kyle," Reynolds said. "Recruited as a goalie from Illinois he came halfway across the country to give his dream of playing college lacrosse a shot."

Reynolds said Dinsmore was adaptable and transitioned from goalie to defensive midfielder with ease. 

"Learning a new position completely on the fly, Kyle transformed himself physically, accepted the role I asked of him without question and absolutely excelled," Reynolds said.  "Long after he is gone I will use his example of what sacrifice really is and will miss his presence everyday at practice."

Dinsmore's teammates said the group felt like a family.

"It's definitely sad to see my career end the way it did, but I am very grateful that I don't have to go through this alone and have a team full of brothers I can always go to for support," senior attackman Michael Burns said. "I am very excited to watch these boys grow this off-season and come out next year harder than they ever have before."

Burns highlighted the Lebanon Valley victory as one of his favorite memories of his lacrosse career at Marymount, even though a knee injury kept him from playing.

"It was still amazing to be a part of such a great hard-earned win," Burns, who played lacrosse for 12 years, said.  "It was a great way to end a very tough year on a positive note and leave the boys hungry for more."

Reynolds said Burns' "hunger for more" was something he liked most about him as a player.

"Anyone that knows Mike knows he has a great deal of passion to play," Reynolds said.   "Whenever his number was called, Mike gave every ounce he could muster."

Reynolds said Burns played one of his best games against Salisbury, during his sophomore year.  

"Mike was not a starter and our season had not played out as we would have hoped," Reynolds said.  "But none of that was on his mind the minute he hit the field."

Reynolds said Burns dropped a hat trick on the defending national champion, scoring 3 goals on 3 shots.

"The game was not a win, but at that moment we all got to witness what a never quit attitude is all about," Reynolds said.

Burns said he also has great memories from his sophomore year on the field, when The Saints beat Mary Washington. The competition outscored Marymount as a team by 55 points in the 2017/18 season.

"This game in particular is the single best game I have ever been a part of, because there's no better feeling than beating someone you're not supposed to," Burns said. "In a year where we dealt with so much adversity, it was the best feeling to end the year on a positive note."

Senior defenseman Christian Imbruglia said the Mary Washington game stood out to him as well.

"It was a ridiculous game that we definitely shouldn't have won by the score that we did and it's really annoying that it has to end like this," Imbruglia, who has played lacrosse since third-grade, said. 

Reynolds said Imbruglia made an immediate impact from the moment he came on board.  

The performance he said stands out was Imbruglia's game against St. Mary's college in 2019.  

"At a point in the season where we could have crashed and burned ... Christian led the way in shutting down their best attackman, who was averaging almost 5 points a game at the time we played,"  Reynolds said. "Even though the game was not a win, Christian held his match up to no goals and only two assists."  

Another senior that Reynold's said played well this season was midfielder Lefti Spyridakis.

"The impression [Lefti Spyridakis] left on me was just about his commitment and love for his team," Reynolds said. "Lefti fought injuries his entire career and never complained. ... He fought tooth and nail to be ready when his number was called."

Reynolds said Spyridakis's points did not reflect the teammate-first type player he was.

"What will last for me was how hard he worked to put himself in the top six midfielders as a junior and answering the call as a senior to be the lead on our face-off unit," Reynolds said. "He took that role willingly and made it his own better than I could have hoped."  

Spyridakis said he was excited to take his role as a Saint from the first day he started on the team. 

"Ever since I stepped foot on campus back in August of 2016 I had already begun making so many memories with all my brothers," Spridakis, a senior midfielder, said.  

Like his brothers, Spyridakis said the Lebanon Valley game was one of these memories. The game secured the team's first win of the season. 

Spyridakis said he wished the season had continued, in hopes of the team winning more games. 

"As far as the season ending, I'm still trying to process it," Spyridakis said. "I wanted to end my Senior year with a winning record and to make a difference on the team. Neither were accomplished and it was frustrating."

But the team members aren't the only ones feeling the pain of the season's loss.

"We were a young team really doing our best to figure itself out, handle injuries, and put the best team on the field," Reynolds said. "We had a very similar start to our 2019 season that we did in 2020 and had a huge turn around, beating a number of teams that really defined last year's squad."

"This team did not get the same opportunity which will leave all of us with a feeling of unfinished business," he added.

Reynolds said he holds a special place in his heart for each of this year's seniors, who won't have a chance to "finish business" next year.

"This particular group gave everything they had to put this team in a position to win and I have many fond memories of our time together," Reynolds said. "The feeling is always bitter sweet when your time comes to an end, and I know that they wish there were more, but I would remind this group that they were a part of some huge wins for the program."

 

Written by Alexandra Radovic