Alum Sean Speciale '11 Keeps Making the Game a Family Affair

NEWTON, MASS. (10/28/13) Lasell College graduate Sean Speciale last donned Laser blue in May of 2011, but his lifetime of involvement in lacrosse didn't end with his college career. In his four year career at Lasell College, the Hillsborough, N.J. native scored 38 goals and racked up 22 assists for a total of 60 points while appearing in 62 games.

Sean's younger brother Matt just finished his freshmen year at Kean University in New Jersey, helping the Cougars to a 15-3 record and an appearance in the Skyline Conference championship game while scoring four goals and collecting seven assists. Kean University head coach, Shelly Shiner is also an assistant coach with the Israel lacrosse association, and reached out to the head of the Philippine Lacrosse Association on behalf of the brothers.

The brothers traveled to Ocean City, Md. with their teammates from the Philippine Lacrosse Association for a pair of games on August 17th and 18th. The pair of games were part of a fundraising effort for a September Outreach trip to the Philippines, as the PLA is hoping to become a sanctioned member of the Federation of International Lacrosse.

Sean joined his brother and PLA teammates when they faced off with a U.S. All-Star team as a part of the Ocean City Lacrosse Classic. The US All-Star squad was comprised of current and former professional lacrosse players, affording the Speciale brothers the chance to go against some of the best players in the world.

"The chance to battle against elite players from around the world alongside my brother and the great guys that became my brothers from the PLA was truly a life changing experience" reflected Sean.

Since his Lasell career has ended Speciale has continued playing lacrosse as often as he can. Both he and his brother play summer lacrosse for OH Yeah Lacrosse, having recently played in the "War on the Shore", one of the most competitive summer tournaments in the nation. Club lacrosse has allowed the two brothers to play together prior to their experience with the PLA.

Speciale credits his father with playing a large role in the lacrosse development of he and his brother Matt, saying "He has always pushed us to play and represent our towns and respective colleges with pride. He has deep roots within the lacrosse community and has impressed upon us the need to give back to the game by coaching in local youth leagues and even at the high school."

Playing with the PLA allowed the brothers another opportunity to play together, and this time they were able to represent their heritage, continuing to follow through on the lessons learned from their father over the years.

Speciale said "I have always wanted to represent my heritage through lacrosse, and the PLA has given me that privilege. We are in the process of getting official recognition as a national team, and although we haven't finished that process yet it doesn't change my perspective on how I wear the helmet and jersey."

Despite not meeting their teammates before arriving in Maryland, the brothers had no problem connecting as teammates and people right away. Speciale noted, "We had no practices, literally met one another for the first time, set up basic offensive and defensive sets and gelled anyway. We all had a basic knowledge of the game, saw what each other could do, kept selfish play and turnovers to a minimum and we were good to go."

Lacrosse certainly bonded the members of the PLA, but they also bonded over being a part of progress. "The amount of love these guys have for lacrosse and growing the PLA was very easy to assimilate into. We already feel a brotherly bond with everyone we played with in the PLA" said Speciale.

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