Ryan Hursey’s first exposure to lacrosse didn’t quite play out like he might have hoped.
Hursey was about 6 or 7 years old when he played his first lacrosse game. He got hit, came off the field in tears, and told his father he didn’t want to play anymore.
The recent Georgetown University graduate can laugh at the thought of that memory now — he was selected by the Chesapeake Bayhawks in the fifth round, 42nd overall, in the 2018 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft on April 19 as his standout college career was coming to a close.
“Having any opportunity to be drafted in a professional sport is a huge honor,” Hursey said. “It’s humbling, not too much credit to me but more so to the guys I’m around on the team and the defense here at Georgetown I’ve been a part of these last four years. The guys I’m graduating with, it’s a testament to them. It’s not too common you get 13 guys in one class and every one of them gets to stay together all four years.”
Hursey, a short stick defensive midfielder, is the 34th Hoya to be selected in an MLL Draft in program history, according to the Georgetown athletics website. He has played in 58 games, started nine, and notched 14 goals and two assists in his career.
He’s collected 31 ground balls on the defensive end for the Hoyas.
Hursey transitioned from the offensive midfield position to defensive midfield after his freshman year. He played both sides at Westminster and often found himself on the defensive side a lot of the time. The transition was weird at first, he said, but his competitive mindset helped him adjust rather quickly.
“It was a learning curve for sure,” Hursey said. “A lot of the position is just being athletic. The athleticism I had throughout my career, which I’ve been blessed to have, took some time and I’m still learning a lot about the schematics and IQ of a defensive player since I was so used to the offensive side of the ball.”
Hursey had six caused turnovers and collected 13 ground balls as a senior, both career highs. He helped anchor the Hoyas’ defensive unit that held opponents to 8.12 goals per game — at 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Hursey usually drew the opponents’ top scorer — and led the team to its first Big East championship in an 8-3 victory over Denver on May 5.
Hursey earned all-Big East tournament team honors, and was named to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse All-America Third Team.
Georgetown finished its season with a 12-5 record and tied a program mark for wins in a season, and appeared in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007.
At Westminster, Hursey tallied 34 goals and 45 assists as a senior and helped lead the Owls to a second straight undefeated county record in the process. The Owls won their first state championship in 2013, Hursey’s junior year, but were upset in the second round of the playoffs by Howard that following season.
Hursey totaled 98 goals and 109 assists in high school, and he earned Times Player of the Year honors in 2014.
“Being a part of such a winning program that Westminster was and still is, it prepared me so much for the college experience more so in terms of work ethic,” Hursey said. “I had a lot to learn about the college game and it takes another level of IQ and understanding the game — the work ethic and competitiveness that comes with playing good teams every week and transitioning that into college. Every single game is as competitive as can be and it translates over to when you step on the field and it continues to play a huge influence.”