With the lacrosse season right around the corner, four Malvern alumni reminisce and share some advice.
Three years ago, Malvern Lacrosse won the Inter-Ac Championship and posted an undefeated record of 24-0. The current seniors were freshmen when the team brought home the title.
“My favorite memory from playing Malvern Lacrosse was beating Haverford in the Inter-Ac Championship at Cabrini College when we went undefeated,” Chris Isenberg, a junior at Penn State, said. “I remember running out on the field and having the entire Malvern student section storm the field. I looked at Greg Pelton while we were running out, just thinking that this is absolutely absurd. I cannot believe we did it.”
Varsity Lacrosse Head Coach Mr. John McEvoy believes that this year’s team has the potential to be something special.
“A lot has to happen to be put in that top category,” McEvoy said. “You need really good team leadership, really good team chemistry. You have to be a little lucky, and the kids cannot get hurt.”
Senior Andrew Clark remembers the team from three years ago.
“I practiced with them leading up to the Inter-Ac Championship,” Clark said. “Being able to play with them and see how focused and dedicated they were helped me become the player and teammate that I am today.”
Kevin McGeary ’15, a captain for the 24-0 season who currently plays for the University of Pennsylvania Quakers, had some words of wisdom to the current seniors. “Enjoy every moment of it because you will miss it when you are gone,” he said.
Playing Division I lacrosse is a daily commitment. It is no longer a game but a profession.
“A lot of people do not realize that once you get here, it is actually a full time job,” Isenberg said. “Our day to day schedules are planned around our practices and games. My world is surrounded by lacrosse in all facets.”
Although this sounds intimidating, the experience builds unparalleled camaraderie and friendships.
“Being on the lacrosse team is probably the best thing that has happened to me in college,” senior Notre Dame lacrosse player PJ Finley said. “It definitely makes life harder, but you have fifty guys who are like-minded and are great friends.”
Notre Dame sophomore Drew Schantz played with Finley at Malvern and is his teammate at Notre Dame. Schantz said he looked up to Finley since he was a freshman in high school.
“PJ took the faceoffs and I played on the wing when we were at Malvern,” Shantz said. “We built a relationship with that and became great friends. At Notre Dame, all the lacrosse players hang out. Age does not matter.”
Schantz recalled one time when he turned on the TV in the Notre Dame lacrosse team’s house and saw himself.
“Last year I scored a half field goal with time expiring, which got on SportsCenter’s Top Ten Plays,” he said. “I was so excited because growing up I watched that and to see myself on it was a pat on the back moment.”
McEvoy said he likes to keep in contact with his former players to help prepare his current players for the next level.
“I love to pick the college players’ brains,” McEvoy said. “I ask them what are they doing, specifically what they are doing that we are not doing that we can get them ready for. I like when they give me new ideas on what they like and don’t like. I learn a lot from those guys.”
Senior lacrosse player Mike Fay will reunite with Schantz next year.
“I was recruited to play lacrosse at Notre Dame freshman year,” Fay said. “I think I picked the right school, and I am very excited to go there. I look forward to meeting up with Drew.”
Fay and Schantz played lacrosse at Malvern together for two years. Come August, they will start on another two year journey together.
“Drew was always a great teammate to have,” Fay said. “He was the guy who would pull you aside and see how you were doing on a daily basis. Drew is a very energetic guy, and is probably one of the hardest workers that I have ever been on a team with.”
Finley gave some parting advice for the current Malvern lacrosse team.
“We want to win, but how we are going to win? We win by practicing every day at the highest intensity possible so that come game time everything seems easy,” Finley said. “Focus on getting better every day. Don’t think about the end result, but about what is in front of you and what you can control.”