Darien lessons make Lindley a record-setter with Loyola lacrosse

He’s spent plenty of time in the spotlight while on the lacrosse field, but the keys to Kevin Lindley’s game grew from his time on the sidelines years ago.

“I grew up around my mom’s practices, just because we couldn’t find a babysitter,” Lindley, the son of Darien girls lacrosse coach Lisa, said. “So I was learning the games and the ins and outs of it. Half the time, I’d go up to the boys practices and watch them play. So I learned that way and it became second nature.”

That “second nature” has helped Lindley rewrite the record books of the Loyola Maryland men’s lacrosse team.

With two goals in a 16-9 win over Navy in the Patriot League quarterfinals on Tuesday, Lindley became Loyola’s all-time leader in career goals with 153, breaking a 39-year-old program record.

Gary Hanley, who played for the Greyhounds from 1978 to 1982 held the old mark of 151, with Lindley reaching that number during a 11-9 win over Georgetown in Loyola’s regular-season finale.

Lindley also owns the Greyhounds’ single-season scoring record of 60 goals, a mark he reached as a sophomore in 2019.

The senior attack said the numbers aren’t his focus.

“I don’t really care about those types of things,” Lindley said. “I was raised in a coaching family so I really only care about winning. My bread and butter is off-ball, so I get a lot of passes from my teammates and if they didn’t have great vision or they weren’t selfless, I wouldn’t be there. So it’s really more of a team reward.”

The Greyhounds are aiming for a big weekend. They’ll take on Army in the Patriot League semifinals at Lehigh at 7 p.m., Friday, with a trip to Sunday’s championship game on the line.

Lindley said Loyola (8-5) is hitting the tournament at the right time.

The Greyhounds have won three straight since back-to-back losses to Army and Navy in mid-April, and Lindley admitted the team was going through some growing pains while trying to build chemistry.

“We finally have found our rhythm and confidence and we’re starting to click,” Lindley said. “The past two games we showed that we can execute and when we do that we can win.”

Lindley said he’s been fortunate he has had the benefit of going from Darien’s highly successful lacrosse program under coach Jeff Brameier, to a similar situation at Loyola.

“A lot of kids do not have the opportunity coming from a very disciplined and storied high school program and then going to a college team that has that same excellence and culture of winning,” he said. “The preparation, the detail-orientedness, the culture and competitiveness of both programs are the same. I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to succeed at the college level. I was so used to it in high school, so when I moved to the college ranks, it was second nature.”

Lindley has a pair of former FCIAC opponents as teammates, with New Canaan’s Peter Swindell at midfield, and Greenwich’s Bailey Savio as a FOGO. Lindley and Swindell were both named to the All-Patriot League first team early this week, with Savio named to the second team.

With an extra year of eligibility following the cancellation of the majority of last year’s season, Lindley will play for Loyola one more season as he works towards a master’s degree in business.

For now, his focus is on Army and the league semis.

“They’re probably bigger and stronger than us but just because someone’s bigger and stronger doesn’t mean that you can’t win or that they’re better than you,” Lindley said. “You just have to counter that and use speed and quickness.”

With every championship or tournament game, you need to get a little lucky and have the ball bounce your way, but you’ve got to give yourself a chance by doing all the correct things first.”

david.stewart@hearstmediact.com; @dstewartsports