Philly legend Sweeney (@sprlax) announces retirement from pro lacrosse

Friday, 1st September 2017
Categories Boy's/Men's , Pro, Posted 9/1/17From Press Release and Staff Report

New York Lizards defenseman Kyle Sweeney – a Springfield-Delco graduate and 3-time champion with the old Philadelphia Barrage who also starred for many years with the Philadelphia Wings – announced his intention to retire from Major League Lacrosse Thursday in a heartfelt letter posted in The Players’ Tribune . After 15 seasons in the league, Sweeney ranks as the all-time MLL leader in games played with 170.

Kyle Sweeney

“At age 36, I know that Father Time is certainly catching up to me, but I can still play in this league,” Sweeney wrote in a story that appeared on The Players’ Tribune. “I probably could for a few more years.”

Sweeney was selected in the third round by the Bridgeport Barrage in the 2003 Collegiate Draft. He followed the team when it moved to Philadelphia shortly afterwards. Sweeney anchored the defensive unit that helped the Barrage win the MLL championship in 2004, 2006 and 2007 and when the team folded in 2008, Sweeney moved to Washington Bayhawks for one game, then over to the Boston Cannons, which he led to win the 2011 MLL Championships. In 2014 he moved back to the Bayhawks, now located in Chesapeake. In 2017, he will begin playing for the Lizards.

Sweeney was selected to the MLL All-Star Game nine times, been named All-MLL three times, and has won the Steinfeld Cup four times. He is ranked sixth all-time in groundballs with 500.

Sweeney finished his career with 41 goals, 27 assists and 68 points. Sweeney appeared in a total of 10 games with the Lizards this past season and picked up 17 groundballs. New York was the fourth different franchise that Sweeney played for in his career.

The Wings drafted Sweeney in the eighth round (83rd overall) of the 2003 NLL Entry Draft. He followed the team when it moved to Connecticut as the New England Black Wolves. He retired from indoor play in 2015.

Sweeney played for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the 2006 and 2010. In 2010, his team won the World Lacrosse Championship in Machester. He also played for Team USA in the 2007 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship.

Sweeney was a four-year standout at Georgetown University. He was named ECAC Rookie of the Year in 2000. He was a two-time ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, and three-time USILA All-American, and holds Georgetown’s all-time ground ball record with 229. He served as co-captain of the 2003. Academically, he was a double major in International Business & Marketing as well as minor concentration in Sociology.

Sweeney earned high school All-American honors, was selected as the All-Central League MVP and named to the All-Delaware County team as a senior at Springfield-Delco. He also played football and basketball at Springfield.

Sweeney also played for the original Duke’s Lacrosse Club’s men’s teams and was a key member of the “Four Horsemen” of standout defensemen as dubbed by founder Ebe Helm.

“I’ll always appreciate how our parents didn’t hesitate to support this new interest of ours,” wrote Sweeney in his retirement letter. “They agreed to buy us all the necessary lacrosse equipment (which wasn’t cheap) and to sign us up for the town league. Looking back as an adult, I realize how big a sacrifice it was. We were a middle-class family. My parents both worked full-time, and in fact they both had second jobs almost my whole childhood. My dad tended bar at night throughout my childhood and my mom managed a restaurant in the summers. They were selfless.

“We were a typical family in Springfield, a suburb outside of Philly where the cookie-cutter, single-family houses date back to the middle of last century. The community prides itself on hard work and family, and we love our sports (mostly football, basketball and hockey … and a little lacrosse). It’s almost a cliché, but because we didn’t have a lot, we valued each other that much more. That’s a big reason why a lot of my high school friends have either stayed in Springfield or returned there to raise their own families.”

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