Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/5/21
From Press Release
The Lafayette men’s lacrosse program unveiled its five captains for the 2021 season on Thursday afternoon. The Leopards will be led by senior Bryan Hess, juniors Cole Dutton and Ryan Kirkwood, and sophomores Sean Rushton (Malvern Prep) and JP Robinson.
“As a staff, we are thrilled to see these five guys named as captains for our 2021 team,” head coach Patrick Myers stated. “Our team, like many others, has been faced with unchartered waters and a unique set of circumstances over the past year. Beginning with Bryan Hess, who has courageously served as a solo captain for the past 11 months, the unwavering commitment to our cultural blueprint and mission-focused mindset from these five has truly been inspiring.
“Their ability to continually turn obstacles into opportunities for growth is representative of the vision we have for this program. Humility, communication skills, the ability to build trust and their competitive drive stand out and are what make Bryan, Cole, Ryan, JP and Sean special leaders. They have what it takes to lead this team through 2021 and beyond, and I couldn’t be more proud of them and what they represent as young men fully committed to the lifestyle of a Leopard lacrosse player.”
Lafayette’s five captains will lead their team into game action Saturday opening up the campaign at Fisher Stadium at 11 a.m. against Virginia Military Institute.
Hess is serving in the captain’s role for the second straight season and was Lafayette’s lone captain to guide the team through an unorthodox Fall 2020. Starting in every game for the Maroon and White over the last two seasons, he scored five goals and added an assist from the midfield a year ago, scoring at least once in four straight games before the 2020 season was shut down. Following the 2020 season, he was the team’s DMGB Strength & Conditioning Award recipient.
“I could not be more excited to lead this team alongside Cole, Ryan, Sean and JP during the 2021 season. Everyone has put in an amazing amount of work in order to raise the standard of this program and create a stronger culture. It is an honor to have the trust and respect of my teammates and coaches to serve as a captain for my final season with the Leopards,” Hess said. “We are extremely grateful for Ms. Freeman and everyone else working behind the scenes to make this season possible, and we are taking advantage of every day we have out there on the field.”
Dutton, the program’s Rookie of the Year following the 2019 season, was excellent as a sophomore, finishing second on the team in goals (6), points (9) and shots on goal (13) through his six games played. The Garden City, N.Y. native tied his career-high with four points on two goals and two assists against Binghamton last February.
“I am extremely honored to be selected by my teammates to lead alongside Bryan, Ryan, JP and Sean. The culture, work ethic and family atmosphere we are building here under the coaching staff’s leadership is unmatched, and I couldn’t be more excited for what’s ahead,” Dutton said. “We have an extraordinary group of guys and I am absolutely humbled to lead them as we look to improve and find the best version of ourselves every day.”
Lafayette’s Most Improved Player following the 2019 campaign, Kirkwood saw action in all six games as a sophomore. The midfielder picked up 12 ground balls, including a career-high four against No. 11 Loyola. As a rookie, he scored six goals and added two assists in 15 games with two starts.
“Being named captain for this program is a huge honor and I am more than excited to serve this team alongside Bryan, Cole, JP and Sean,” said Kirkwood. “I am extremely grateful for my teammates and this coaching staff for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to lead this team and move this program forward. We have an incredible group of guys who have bought into our program standards, and I am really excited to grind with them over the next few months. We are all especially grateful for having the opportunity to play this season in unprecedented times and all of the sacrifices being made behind the scenes to make all of this possible.”
Playing in all six games on the defensive side as a freshman, Rushton made the hustle plays for the Maroon and White, earning him the team’s Leopard Award, given to the player who showed the greatest toughness on ground balls and consistently showed physical and mental toughness on a daily basis. The Media, Pa. native scooped up 12 ground balls on the year, with eight coming in two games against No. 9 North Carolina and No. 15 Army.
“Being selected to lead our 2021 lacrosse campaign is as much an honor as it is a privilege,” said Rushton. “Ryan, Cole, Ryan, JP and I represent our Lafayette lacrosse family as we maintain the highest standards of preparation, teamwork and manage our ‘get better’ mindset. I will do my part to serve our brotherhood as we push our limits in pursuit of our team goals. This selection is a humbling experience that we will repay with our tireless commitment to our entire Leopard family.”
Finally, Robinson joined Rushton on the defensive side, earning minutes right away as a freshman on College Hill. His five caused turnovers in six games ranked third on the team and he picked up six ground balls in his first year of collegiate action. After his rookie campaign, he was awarded Lafayette’s Most Improved Player.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to be called up by my brothers to be a captain alongside Bryan, Cole, Ryan and Sean,” Robinson said. “This is a group of guys that bleed Lafayette lacrosse and are committed to setting and holding the standard of what it means to be a Leopard every single day, on and off the field.”