Men’s soccer sophomore Jarid Siegel knows all about classmate Kyle Lynch. He also knows about Lynch’s two goals this season, a fact that he hears about at least twice a day from his fellow defender – who just happens to be his roommate. Now, Siegel will have one more thing to here about at the dinner table.
Yesterday, Lynch was named to the ESPN The Magazine District I Academic All-America second team. The well-deserved honor recognizes a player who has stepped up as a crucial leader in a Red defense that lost captains Peter Lynch ’05 and Scott Palguta ’05 to graduation last year.
Earning playing time as a freshman last year, Lynch has transitioned smoothly into the starting role this season. His steady play has anchored a back line made up of three sophomores, one junior, and a freshman in net.
“Kyle’s been very consistent in the back for us and very very good in the air,” said assistant coach Chip Warner. “He’s just a tenacious player. He’ll do anything he can to get to the ball, whether it’s in the air or on the ground. He’ll run through a brick wall for us if we asked him to.”
Lynch is easily recognizable on the field both by his aggressive style of play and by his fiery red hair. Twice in Cornell’s 1-1 tie against Colgate, Lynch made game-saving sliding-tackles from out of nowhere.
“In some sense I’m a one dimensional player. I really only can play defense on the field,” Lynch said. “I go into some tackles that other people won’t. I just want to be one of the most aggressive people on the field. When I go into a tackle with someone, I want them to be scared the next time they get near the ball.”
Even more impressive than Lynch’s tackling ability is his strength in the air. A self-described “6’1 at best,” Lynch’s ability to get to headers makes him both a defensive standout, as well as a dangerous offensive option for the Red.
“Heading is just courage and timing and Kyle’s got both of them,” said head coach Bryan Scales. “He has no fear – he puts his head in places normal people don’t usually do. He’s gone up for some head balls – not 50-50 balls, we’re talking 30-70 – and he’s been very good for us.”
Lynch’s two goals this season have both been scored in the air off corner kicks. For a defender who spends most of his time trying to prevent goals, it’s nice to share in the offensive glory.
“I really enjoy scoring goals [but] I’d really like to score one with my feet,” Lynch said. “I haven’t scored one with my feet in God knows how long.”
Scales, who also played defense in his days as a player at Hartwick, knows the value of having a defender like Lynch.
“He’s a street-fighter,” Scales said. “He’s a player that will challenge anything and confront anything. That’s what every team needs.”
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer