In his senior season, Ryan Callahan is on the prowl to help bring the Cardinals their first conference title. The Plattsburgh State men’s lacrosse team is looking for a great year from Callahan and the rest of the senior class.
The lefty attackman is from Miller Place, Long Island. The lacrosse culture on Long Island pushed Callahan to lacrosse at a young age. As he played basketball and soccer in high school, he was set on lacrosse being his main focus on trying to play collegiately.
“To be honest, I chose lacrosse because the thrill of scoring a goal beat any other sports feeling for me,” Callahan said. “I saw where some older guys on my high school team were going to college and it made me want the same thing.”
Callahan transferred to Plattsburgh after attending Belmont Abbey in North Carolina for his freshmen year. Part of the reason the decision to transfer came up was the Miller Place influence who were already up at PSUC.
“A couple of my former teammates were at Plattsburgh and they knew I was looking to transfer,” Callahan said.
Another reason Callahan chose Plattsburgh was the lacrosse culture and the rising program. He now admires the team comradery.
“I knew some of the guys on the team and the types of players they were. I think it is always good to play with people that have the same mentality,” Callahan said. “This year’s team in particular is one of the closest teams I have been a part of. All 50 guys are like a family and I think that is what stands out to me the most.”
Head coach Joe May is confident in the senior’s lacrosse IQ to be a leader of the offense.
“He has very good vision on the field with the ball in his stick,” May said. “Ryan has a great sense of spacing and his knowledge of the game is why he is one of our best guys on that side of the ball.”
Since his sophomore year, new spots needed to be filled so his role on the team needed to change. Coming in behind All-American lefty attackman Brendan Damm, Callahan found his way onto the field being a man-up specialist.
The way Callahan has changed over his career is night and day to assistant coach Brett McClelland.
“I think he has a different mentality towards the game than when he first arrived at Plattsburgh,” McClelland said. “He went from being just a very good man-up guy to now being the quarterback of our offense.”
Around the team, Callahan is known to be a hype-man during practice by bringing tons of energy and keeping practice competitive. Some teammates say he isn’t always nice to the defense.
Senior defensemen Bryan O’Riley has a love-hate relationship with his practice opponent.
“If the defense doesn’t bring it in a drill, Callahan will let us know about it which gets us all fired up. When he gets in my ear it makes me want to play that much better,” O’Riley said. “As much as I dislike it, I know he is trying to make me and the rest of the guys better players.”
While lacrosse was the main reason Callahan was interested in PSUC, he has grown to love the North Country.
“I love to go hiking when it is nice out and I always get the ski pass,” Callahan said. “I’ve been on multiple trips to Burlington and just recently went to Montreal for my first time.”
Coming up on the second half of his senior season, Callahan and the rest of the Cards still have some unfinished business to take care of.
“I want to end my career as a Cardinal a SUNYAC champion,” Callahan said. “That would be my greatest sports moment of all time.”
Email Kyle Espejo at firstname.lastname@example.org