Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 9/2/13
Wheeling Jesuit University senior attackman Kevin Figaniak – a Pennridge graduate – died in Pittsburgh early Sunday as a result of a brutal beating by a group of men while he and a friend walked toward the West Virginia campus from a nearby bar, police said.
The second victim suffered minor injuries, police said.
“Today is a difficult day for our campus as we mourn the loss of a member of the Wheeling Jesuit family,” said Rev. James Fleming, WJU president Sunday in a statement. “It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that Kevin Michael Figaniak, WJU class of 2014, passed from this life quietly and peacefully surrounded by his family and friends.
“Kevin spent the last three years at Wheeling Jesuit forging friendships and in his final hours, Kevin was surrounded by those friends and his family, who, through their love and prayers, brought Kevin home to Jesus. We ask you to please keep Kevin, his family and the entire Wheeling Jesuit community in your prayers,” Fr. Fleming added.
Figaniak, a senior business major, also was a member of the University’s club hockey team. He was the son of Valerie and Tom Figaniak of Perkasie, PA. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
He was admitted to Wheeling Hospital early Saturday morning with severe head trauma and later transferred to UPMC Presbyterian. “The medical staffs at both hospitals showed exceeding patience and professionalism in their care of Kevin,” Fr. Fleming said.
The University held a prayer service on Saturday evening for students. Staff members from residence life, campus ministry, the counseling office and the athletic department are talking with students, providing them with counsel and support. “Our main concern at this time is for Kevin’s family and our students,” Fr. Fleming added.
Three Sunday Masses in the Chapel of Mary and Joseph on the WJU campus were offered for the repose of his soul and the intentions of his grieving family and friends.
Figaniak had 14 goals and 8 assists as a regular player in 2013 for Wheeling Jesuit, a Division II school that finished 11-6 overall and 4-3 in the ECAC. Figaniak was a First Team All-Suburban One Continental Conference player in 2010 when he scored 43 goals.
Wheeling police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger reported that three or four white men believed to be in their mid-20s assaulted the pair about 1:45 a.m. Saturday. Police are considering the incident a homicide and are asking anyone with information about the assault to contact the department.
Officers found Figaniak less than a quarter-mile from campus and a few blocks from the bars and restaurants.
Wheeling Jesuit is located just over the border in West Virginia and Ohio, about 60 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.
Figaniak was a Suburban One Continental second-team choice in 2009 when he scored 54 goals for the Rams. In the summer he was a major contributor on a Philly team that stood out at the Adidas National Lacrosse Classic.
An Honor Roll student, Figaniak was spotted by Wheeling Jesuit at the Top 25 Recruiting camp. Figaniak played club lacrosse for LB3.