By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, posted 8/11/08
Matt Dolente was named to the All-World Team and honored as the Outstanding Midfielder during the summer while leading Team USA to the International Lacrosse Federation Under-19 championship in British Columbia, Canada.
Dolente, who will be a sophomore at Johns Hopkins this year, won over 65 percent of his face-offs in the tournament and figures to be a pivotal player for the Blue Jays as they try to return to the NCAA Division I championship game.
And who taught him how to take a face-off as a young lacrosse player at Malvern Prep?
The answer: Evan Brady, a student-coach who died three years ago due to bone cancer and has become the inspiration for a fund that has raised nearly $150,000 in two years for families that have a child battling a life-threatening illness.
Dolente was three years younger than Brady, who volunteered to serve as a player-coach after being diagnosed in 2001. Dolente said Brady taught him the fine points of winning face-offs, but also about being a winner in life.
“I didn’t start playing lacrosse (seriously) until high school and Evan was first one who taught me how to face off,” Dolente said. “He got me going in that direction. He gave me the fundamentals, and made a big impact on me as a person, not just a player.”
Dolente said he always wanted to wear Evan’s No. 19, but it was taken at Malvern Prep and also at Johns Hopkins. So, so jumped at the chance to wear 19 for Team USA in Canada this July.
As he continues his career at Hopkins, Dolente plans to keep Brady’s memory close to his heart.
“Before games and before warm-ups I take a knee by the sideline and say a prayer,” Dolente said. “I always think about him. I ask Evan to watch over me and keep me healthy.
“Sometimes, when luck goes my way, I consciously think that maybe it was him.”
Tags: Malvern Prep