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High School sports

St. Mary’s boys lacrosse midfielder Gavin Burlace commits to Notre Dame

St. Mary’s Gavin Burlace moves the ball as Boy’s Latin’s Duncan Barnes checks him in the second quarter. The visiting Boy’s Latin Lakers defeated the St. Mary’s Saints, 7-4, in boy’s lacrosse, May 3, 2022.

Of all the Burlaces that have made an impact in collegiate lacrosse in Maryland, the latest in line is journeying westward.

Gavin Burlace decided when he made his Division I commitment late last month, instead of a red-and-gold Maryland splash across his Twitter like his father, Brian, and brothers, B.J. and Colin, before him, St. Mary’s lacrosse congratulated their rising senior with a gold and blue Notre Dame logo.

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The latest product of an accomplished lacrosse family, Burlace received calls from plenty of other programs the fall of his junior year, but none clicked with him. He chose to bet on himself.

“And go somewhere I really wanted to go. Go somewhere that’s a right fit for me academically, team-wise, all that stuff,” Burlace said. “I was patient and Notre Dame came along. That was something I couldn’t turn down.”

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It’s not just Gavin Burlaces’ family that all made their way to College Park, Many St. Mary’s standouts go on to Maryland as well as other regional schools like Georgetown, Navy and UMBC.

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But Burlace doesn’t envision himself as an explorer nor an anomaly. He just sees the sprawling maples across the South Bend campus that won him over when he visited Notre Dame during the last week of July.

“Everything about it is beautiful, the buildings, the facilities around it. I loved that part,” Burlace said. “And then the coaches were great, and the guys on the team were cool guys I thought I couldn’t find anywhere else.”

The way Burlace sees it, he’s not forging his own, unique way. He’s not thinking of how he’s going to accomplish different things than his older brothers. He’s thinking about how he’ll only be able to come back to see St. Mary’s games on breaks.

“Me and my brothers are so supportive of each other. We all want the best for each other,” he said. “We’re there for each other all the time, look out for each other. I didn’t feel pressure to make my own path.”

Nonetheless, there is one thing Burlace can accomplish that his brothers did not before he even reaches Indiana. Something that the younger Burlace glimpsed as a possibility alongside his teammates last May and let slip through their hands to McDonogh: A championship.

Burlace quietly played a key role in that run, scoring more points than any other midfielder on the team (36) with a team-high 23 assists (tied with Nick Golini) and 12 ground balls. For Burlace, his preparation for Notre Dame is going to look very similar to what he needs to do to help his team achieve that crown before his graduation next spring.

“The main thing now is I’m just getting bigger, stronger, faster,” Burlace said. “Three things that’ll make me better at everything from shooting, ground balls, getting up and down the field. It’s very important.”


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