Hofstra men’s lacrosse is 10-0 with top five rankings in nearly every major National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) poll, and the quiet leadership of Dylan Alderman is a huge reason why.
The junior midfielder from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, is a regular member of the Dean’s List and was selected to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) All-Rookie Team as a freshman. Now, he is one of the best players on one of the nation’s best teams.
After having a bit of a down season as a sophomore, fighting through injuries and putting up only nine points (compared to the 18 in his freshman year), Alderman is experiencing a breakout season this year as a junior.
Alderman has asserted himself as a key cog in the Pride lineup and has scored a goal in each of the last seven games, giving him 10 on the season to go with 13 assists, which places him third on the team in total points, with 23.
He doesn’t receive the hype that Tewaaraton Watch List selection Josh Byrne or second-team All-American goalie Jack Concannon get, but Alderman is an invaluable leader for the Pride.
“I consider myself a quiet leader for this team,” Alderman said. “I like to show it on the field; I don’t really talk as much as some of the other guys.”
Although he is not a vocal leader, Alderman is exactly the type of unsung hero that every team needs. He is a calm, collected guy who does his job and makes big plays when called upon. This could not be exemplified any more than in Hofstra’s early season upset over the defending national champions at the University of North Carolina. Alderman had the game of his life by dominating against one of the nation’s elite teams, tallying three goals and adding three assists in an 11-9 win.
“That game was a lot of fun,” Alderman said. “I was just trying to hit the net, honestly, but my teammates were really helping me out, getting me open and drawing a lot of attention that really just left me open shots at the net.”
Alderman is the first to defer credit of his accomplishments to his teammates and does not pay attention to stats. He simply tries to work on his game as much as he can and is beginning to see the fruits of his labor.
He says that his teammates do not worry about who scores, they simply try to get off the best shot possible.
This is apparent upon viewing any of Hofstra’s games this season as the offense whips the ball around and breaks down opposing defenses. Whenever they catch a defender off balance or confused of his assignment, they pounce on the opportunity.
“We’re a really unselfish group,” he said. “We like to pass the ball around and whoever scores, we’re happy for.”
Accompanying the junior’s rise to become Hofstra’s most productive midfielder is his team’s meteoric rise to the top of the NCAA standings. At 10-0, Alderman’s squad has shattered the record for the best start in Hofstra’s history. Despite the undefeated record, however, he says the team is simply taking a “one game at a time” approach.
“It’s really hard to tell how long we can stay undefeated,” Alderman said. “We just want to be 1-0 after the next game, so we don’t put much pressure on the whole record right now. We don’t look at rankings or records, we just want to win the next game.”
Heading into the heart of conference play in the CAA, Hofstra will have tough task of taking on multiple nationallyranked opponents who are sure to leave everything on the field. It will be extremely tough to get through conference play with the Pride’s undefeated record still intact.
Though the Pride is trying to simply focus on what is ahead, hoping that the team’s efforts pay off in the form of glory, it is hard to not think about the big picture for this season. Alderman admitted that he has his sights set on a potential run at a national title.
“We want to keep this undefeated streak going,” Alderman said. “The national title is pretty far down the line right now, but after [the] CAA’s, I think we can win it all.”