USA Profile: Kyle Harrison
College: Johns Hopkins University
Professional: LXM Pro Tour
From the time Kyle Harrison stepped onto Homewood Field, lacrosse knew there was a star in the making. The early season tilt against Princeton gave lacrosse an early impression of his abilities. The two-sport sensation from the Friends School in Baltimore was now a star on the big stage with the Blue Jays.
His goals, in his first Division I game, were a glimmer of the capability he possessed. In that game, he was facing off as well as running regular midfield shifts. Something few people can still do today in the game. That season he ended up with 14 points, but experienced the ups and downs of his first season in big time lacrosse. Hopkins lost two games that year, but the youth on campus had high hopes for the future.
His sophomore season was a major stepping-stone for Harrison as he registered at least one point in every game. He ended the season with a season high of three goals against North Carolina. Harrison played his best against Loyola, scoring season high of six points and four assists. The Blue Jays ended their campaign in the last grass game ever played at M&T Bank Stadium in an epic loss to Virginia. The conditions hindered the athletic Jays from making runs on Virginia at a time where Hopkins could see the title drought end within reach.
The next season was another run to the Final Four for the Jays and Harrison failed to produce a point in one single game, against Towson. He set a career high in goals against Princeton, who was becoming a favorite target of Harrison’s since his opening day experience two years prior. The star was close to coming to the forefront of college lacrosse and Harrison saved his best for his field season.
The senior season was the culmination of four years of hard work. He led the team in all offensive categories and even was taking important draws during games. Not something that is regularly accomplished by a team’s top offensive producer. The Blue Jays had a vision of what they wanted to accomplish and Harrison was leading the way. He scored in every game, except one, and even took over games with his play making ability. Down late against Navy, Harrison led a storied comeback for the Jays. His ability to create his own shot tied the game in the waning moments and he scored the game winner in overtime to send Navy, last year’s national runner-up, home in disappointment. One of the more electrifying games Homewood had seen in awhile.
As the season ended, Kyle Harrison led the Blue Jays to an overtime win over Virginia, in the game known for its quick tornado to interrupt the final minutes of the game, the win over Navy, and in the championship even played defensive midfield possessions to ensure that the Blue Jays came home National Champions. He led the team around Lincoln Financial Field, in a route that the Jays had not traveled since 1989.
Player of the Year Honors and the Tewaaraton Award followed, as he was the best player in college lacrosse bar none. He led the Jays to an undefeated season and his picture of the celebration is still one of the photos most widely seen in lacrosse. His visit to the White House followed along with the team. Harrison was making his rounds as the best player in college, maybe even on the planet.
During his time in Major League Lacrosse, Harrison’s athletic ability captivated audiences. He cut through defenses and was a perennial all star caliber player for the Los Angeles franchise. Harrison even uprooted himself and moved out west to help promote the game. STX thought enough of his character to support a product line in his name.
Now the lead name in the LXM Pro Tour, Harrison has the ability to take his game across the country and introduce fans to the sport. People have picked up lacrosse based on how exciting and motivational he has been to the communities in which he visits. With it being known that on average lacrosse players after college have three years to make their name before they start losing the notoriety they had while on campus. Harrison is working on a decade away from Homewood Field and his game is still very sharp.
Making the United States team is something that Harrison has had the pleasure of capturing before, but this has the ability to be the time that he leaves his stamp on the game forever. In helping the United States capture gold previously; he can leave the legacy of being one of the greatest players to ensure that the gold stays with his country. In maybe his last appearance as a USA team member, he has the privilege of being able to finish his international career in front of the audience that loves him most. In doing so, he might just be the catalyst the Americans need to get those clutch goals on their way to gold.