Benchwarmers, do not worry…your time will come! Just ask Maryland goalie Kyle Bernlohr.
Bernlohr spent three seasons on the bench watching starting goalie Niko Amato, the best keeper in the country in 2014 and a four-year, first-team all-league selection in the Atlantic Coast Conference, an incredible feat.
Those three years would prove to be some of the harder times Bernlohr had experienced. He admits he made lists of schools he could transfer to. However, in pursuit of a national championship, he decided to stick with Maryland, which would prove to be an incredible judgment.
“When you’re sitting behind a top goalie, you get an opportunity to break down offensive tendencies and pick an elite goalie’s brain and push yourself to play at that level…A kid like Kyle was getting better in practice every day for the past three years. The lacrosse world just didn’t get an opportunity to see him because Niko Amato was there.”
-Paul Carcaterra, ESPN Analyst and Former Syracuse Midfielder
After redshirting in 2012 and years of hard work, Bernlohr made his starting debut in the 2015 season.
“I finally got what I came here to do. I got really emotional before the [Navy game] and felt really blessed to be in a position that I’ve dreamed of my entire life.”
-Kyle Bernlohr, Senior of Maryland Men’s Lacrosse
Bernlohr would prove to be crucial in his 2016 season, starting all 20 games, ranked ninth in the country in goals against average (8.25), named to the first team All-Big Ten and a second team All-America pick by USILA, nominated for the Tewaaraton Award, and selected with the 11th overall pick in the second round of the 2016 MLL Draft by the Ohio Machine.
Despite graduating from Maryland this year, Bernlohr’s legacy will not come to an end. He was recently named assistant coach at Cleveland State where he will educate and undoubtedly inspire his players, especially those on the bench.
There’s nothing better than watching a hero discover his true potential. What’s your favorite lax success story? Click the title to comment.