Strength and stability from lacrosse seniors

Rory MacCallum, Contributing Writer

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Seniors Matthew Cyr, Alex Ziolkowski, KC Pierce and Ryan Murphy stand together as the foundation of UD men’s lacrosse. University of Dallas photo.

It’s been a rocky road for all four of the seniors on the University of Dallas men’s lacrosse team, but as their careers come to an end, this senior class is proud of what they have accomplished. The class came to a small program at UD, saw that program take a one-year hiatus their sophomore year, and underwent the tedious task of rebuilding it. After their last game this past weekend, they reflected upon the current position of the program and recognized its potential for growth.

Attacker Matthew Cyr, a biochemistry major from St. Louis, Mo., has been an essential contributor to the team throughout his entire career.

“It has been a blessing to get to play lacrosse here at UD,” Cyr remarked. “It has been incredible to just be on the field with some of my best friends working hard every day. Nothing worth doing is easy, and this program is definitely worth it.”

His head coach, Keith Lindgren, had high praise.

“[Cyr] has been the calm and stable hand at control of the offense for the past two seasons,” Lindgren said. “His ability to control the offense has directed the future of the Crusaders.”

Cyr has scored 18 points in 14 games during his senior season, and has scored 60 goals in 38 career games. He plans to attend medical school next year.

Midfielder Alex Ziolkowski has been one of the best goal scorers on the team. A business major from Ann Arbor, Mich., he is excited about where the program is headed, though disappointed in his own performance.

“We have a young team and will be even younger next year, and those kids should have the chance to be part of something special,” Ziolkowski said. “I know this program will take off, and while I wish I could be a part of it, I am happy and hopeful for all who will be part of it.”

Lindgren believes that Ziolkowski has left a legacy for the program.

“His strength and determination at the face-off and in the weight room have demonstrated an infectious work ethic that has trickled down to the freshman class,” Lindgren said.

Defender KC Pierce has been a strong leader for the program. He is also thankful for his time in the program, and has high hopes for the future of the lacrosse team.

“It’s been a solid foundation for my UD experience over the last few years,” Pierce said. “I’d like to have left a legacy of hard work and dedication that changes the view of the lacrosse team here.”

“[Pierce] has been the strength behind the scenes for two seasons now,” Lindgren said.

A psychology major, Pierce plans on getting a doctorate and says he plans to stay involved in lacrosse, most likely by coaching later in life.

The most important position on the field is the goalkeeper, and Ryan Murphy patrolled the net every single game since arriving on campus, never missing a start. The native of Yorba Linda, Calif. set a school record for 301 saves his junior season. Like his fellow classmates, Murphy also hopes his work for the program will last long after his departure.

“It sucks that this is my last year of lacrosse,” Murphy said. “But it makes you enjoy the little time that’s left in your playing career. I’ve really enjoyed playing for Dallas these last four years.”

His coach also appreciates Murphy bailing his team out when they would mess up.

“He has been the strength and stability that has kept the program together,” Lindgren said. “Without his leadership in goal, the team would have never reached its potential.”

Perhaps the best trace this class has left on the program is the fact that the program exists today. There were only 12 players on the roster their freshman year, and in 2014, when they were sophomores, the season was cancelled because they didn’t have enough players. The hard work of this class has ensured that would not happen again. The successes this program enjoys in the future will be traced back to the hard work and dedication of these four seniors.

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