Penn men’s lacrosse was represented at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium on Monday. However, it wasn’t quite the way they had imagined it.
“[The USILA All-Star game] was right before the championship game,” 2014 College graduate and goalkeeper Brian Feeney said. “If someone told me I was going to be in M&T Bank Stadium on Memorial Day, I would have hoped it would have been for the big game.”
Fellow 2014 College Graduate and midfield Drew Bellinsky joined Feeney on the South team as the pair had one final hurrah to their collegiate lacrosse careers. Their team prevailed in a close contest, edging the North team by a score of 17-16.
“I knew most of the players that were there,” Feeney said. “It was a great day to play lacrosse, just to do that with a bunch of guys that I’ve grown up playing with or against was a great experience for me, especially because my roommate [Bellinsky] came with me.”
Though many have the experience of playing against familiar foes, Feeney and Bellinsky had the unique experience of playing in their final collegiate game with a close teammate.
“Having Drew there the entire weekend in Baltimore, having my best friend there made it a lot more fun,” Feeney said. “It was great to finish my collegiate career with someone who I actually played with.”
And though Feeney is finishing his collegiate career and moving into the workforce, he hopes this isn’t the end of lacrosse in his life.
“I’m still trying to figure out if I want to continue to play lacrosse, I’ll need to run it by [my job], but I do have aspirations to somehow continue my career,” Feeney said. “There’s plenty of summer tournaments that I’m doing and plenty of leagues, but if I were allowed to, I’d try out for an MLL team.”
For the Penn players, the All-Star game wasn’t the only Baltimore festivity as members of the team arrived on Saturday for the All-American banquet.
At the banquet, three 2014 Quakers – Feeney, Zack Losco and Maxx Meyer – earned third-team honors. This was the first time that a Quaker had been named to the first, second or third teams since 1988 and the first time that three Penn players had been named since 1984.
For the Quakers to turn things around in the past few years, it took more than individual talent. In the eyes of Feeney, it’s the team leadership and decision-making that has developed during his career.
“We decided amongst ourselves that [the social side] wasn’t something coach Murphy had to go ahead and [get involved in]”, Feeney said. “The players themselves got involved in making decisions that are best for the team without the help of the coaches and everyone abided by that.”
And for Feeney and the rest of the Class of 2014, that fateful Ivy League tournament title will always overshadow their early NCAA tournament exit and their individual accolades.
“It’s tough to go out the way we did in the first round, but in the end I’m always going to remember the Ivy League championship. That’s been our number one goal since I was a freshman, we had come close to it, but never made it past that first round hump,” Feeney said.
“None of the accolades that me or some of the other guys received at the end of the season will amount to winning that championship as a whole and as a team.”
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