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Mount grad DiBartolo sends message to start Bayhawks career

T.C. DiBartolo wasn't sure whether to send the email.

Mount St. Mary's starting goalie for four years, he thought his career was finished after the Mountaineers' season ended last spring. DiBartolo wondered about playing in Major League Lacrosse before deciding to electronically pitch his services to the Chesapeake Bayhawks.

"I debated if it was politically correct or right to send it," DiBartolo said. "I didn't really expect to get picked. But it all worked out."

The Bayhawks selected DiBartolo in the 16th round of the December's supplemental draft. He won the starting job for last weekend's season opener at Long Island, where he made 15 saves and helped the Bayhawks to a 13-11 victory over the Lizards.

He'll be playing again in Saturday's 7 p.m. home opener against Ohio at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Clearly, hitting "Send" turned out to be the right decision.

Chesapeake general manager Brian Reese contacted DiBartolo the morning of the draft and said the team might pick him.

"I was pretty shocked," DiBartolo said. "You don't see too many people from Mount St. Mary's get picked. We tend to get forgotten about amongst the Syracuses and Virginias."

DiBartolo fared well in the team's preseason camp. He then earned the starting role for the Long Island game — finding out about 20 minutes before the opening faceoff.

The Lizards scored on their first three shots for a quick 3-0 lead, but DiBartolo settled down and didn't allow a goal for about two quarters as the Bayhawks fought back for the victory.

DiBartolo appears to have the starting job for now, but there will be competition for the starting role each week. Joey Kemp is the backup goalie, and Kip Turner (Severn) will be joining the team, possibly next week when his assistant coaching days at Brown are finished.

"T.C. has kind of earned this job," said Bayhawks coach Dave Cottle, a former Maryland and Loyola College coach. "To his credit, he has played outstanding every time we put him in the goal."

The Most Valuable Player of the Northeast Conference tournament and the conference's Defensive Player of the Year last spring, DiBartolo stayed with Mount St. Mary's this spring as a graduate assistant coach. He's working with the goalies and running the scout defense.

After being selected by the Bayhawks, DiBartolo spent the winter working out and training. He spent time in the weight room and took shots — and the team has noticed his skills.

"So far, so good," Reese said. "We were just amazed by his quickness. It's pretty impressive. He's going to do whatever he can to make the save."

Joining the Bayhawks has made DiBartolo very busy this spring. In addition to playing and coaching, he is working on a graduate degree in education technology facilitation at Mount St. Mary's. That's preparing DiBartolo for what will likely be a career teaching some form of social studies in middle or high school.

But that's down the road. For now he's focused on a more immediate challenge.

"Hopefully I can just keep it up and stay in the league and on the team," he said. "You can never really rely on your last performance. You just kind of go out there and hope for the best."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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