By Bridget Algeo
Phillylacrosse,com, Posted 4/17/08
Any time Unionville defense wing Kalyn McDonough receives an honor, you can expect a family event.
Besides her supportive parents and a brother who just celebrated the completion of flight school, one will find an extended mix of aunts, uncles, and twelve cousins proudly attending the milestone moments of the senior tri-captain.
With McDonough’s unique blend of accolades and accomplishments, the McDonough clan has much to celebrate. In addition to being a US Lacrosse Academic All-American her junior year, McDonough is also president of her school’s National Honor Society and recently earned the Daughters of American Revolution Good Citizenship Award.
McDonough is also involved in her school’s Unity Club, was elected the most athletic female of her senior class, and, last fall, was voted by her classmates to be a member of the homecoming court.
Lastly, she has been named the Laxzilla/Phillylacrosse.com Female Student-Athlete of the Week.
As if those achievements didn’t keep her family busy enough, McDonough, who became the starting place kicker for the Unionville varsity football team, was chosen by area coaches to participate in the Valor Bowl, an all-star game showcasing the best senior players in Chester County.
Come next September, however, McDonough will be heading to the University of Richmond for lacrosse (instead of football) while pursuing a career in physical therapy.
Again, it’s all about family.
Inspiring her career path is McDonough’s 14 year-old cousin, Andrew McDonough, who passed away in the summer of 2007 following a diagnosis of leukemia two days after he led his FC Delco soccer squad to an Indoor State Cup title. While admitted to the hospital, Andrew received care and support from the physical therapists, and Kalyn saw firsthand, “what a difference they made.”
“He was a great kid,” says McDonough of her cousin, who she warmly describes as, “funny, awesome, charismatic, and athletic.” McDonough tries to take the “magic” of Andrew, well-known for playing with “the heart of a champion,” to the lacrosse field.
According to Indians lacrosse coach Wendy Landry, the gracious and humble McDonough is more than successful.
“She has a take charge presence on the field and has been an impact player both offensively and defensively for us,” she said. “She is a valuable leader on and off the field.”
Not only a model of motivation for his cousin Kalyn, Andrew’s spirit became a source of inspiration for the Unionville lacrosse squad as they sport “Play Like Andrew” bands this season.
Off to a 5-3 start, McDonough anticipates a strong finish for a close-knit team consisting mainly of seniors and sophomores.
“I wouldn’t achieve any honors without my team,” said McDonough. “They’re great. It’s a lot of fun playing with your friends and people you like.”
Whatever the direction of the season, McDonough can always count on the presence of family – especially that of her role model, Andrew.
“I try to have fun when I‘m playing,” she said. “I just remember that he is always there with me.”
To find out more about The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, visit www.livelikeandrew.org