Ever since Long Island native Ryan Tierney was eight years old, he’s been around the Hofstra lacrosse team.
Whether he was shooting, hanging out with the guys or just simply in the locker room, it just felt right to him. When he began playing and made a name for himself on his Massapequa High School team, it’s been his plan to eventually play for his father, Hofstra head coach Seth Tierney, and join the Pride.
Now that he’s arrived, Ryan Tierney has quickly made his name known around the CAA, earning CAA Rookie of the Week in mid-February.
Even though father and son are playing the same game on the same field, Ryan Tierney admits that the dynamic is definitely different.
“Off the field, he’s your father, but on the field, he’s your coach. You just have to keep it like that and not let the paths cross,” Ryan Tierney said.
Coach Tierney recalls not allowing his son to commit to Hofstra until he knew for sure that that was where he wanted to be.
“He was recruited by several schools, and a lot of great ones, but he never strayed far from Hofstra,” Coach Tierney said.
Eventually, Ryan Tierney approached his parents one night and put his foot down, saying that he was committing to Hofstra no matter what his dad said. His father asked him for the reasoning behind it, wanting to make sure that this was the decision that was best for him.
One of the things Ryan brought up in his list of reasons was that he would not be happy going to another school knowing him and his dad could be making memories together on the same field. He loved everything about Hofstra and knew that’s where he wanted to be.
“It was one of those moments that was just awesome,” Coach Tierney said.
In his senior year at Massapequa High School, Ryan Tierney received the James C. Metzger Lacrosse Award after scoring 53 goals in 18 games. Metzger, a high school and college lacrosse star, played for two years at Hofstra University and is now a member of the Hofstra Hall of Fame.
In his collegiate debut, Ryan Tierney scored three goals and had one assist in an 11-9 victory over Monmouth University at James M. Shuart Stadium.
The performance earned him the title of CAA Rookie of the Week and he’s only continued to impress. In his first five games this season, he tallied 19 points, including 12 goals and seven assists.
Ryan Tierney admits the switch from playing at a high school to collegiate level has not been easy, but he gives credit to teammates like senior Josh Byrne and juniors Brendan Kavanagh and Dylan Alderman to helping him get past it and adjust.
“They have taught me an infinite amount of things. From little things like where I should be on the field at certain times to shooting techniques to slashing my stick … They’ve opened my eyes to a whole other level of lacrosse,” Ryan Tierney said.
Hofstra is set to face some big teams in the upcoming weeks and Ryan Tierney hopes to continue his success in those games, especially when the Pride faces Long Island rival, Stony Brook University on March 21.
“That’s a huge one because, for a bunch of the Long Island kids here, it was a choice between Hofstra and Stony Brook and the kids who chose Hofstra want to stick with their decision,” Ryan Tierney said. “They want to make sure they chose the right one.”
Ryan Tierney and his teammates hope to bring a CAA Championship back to the Pride, who is 5-0 so far this season, but right now, the focus is on playing hard and sticking to the game plan.
“We’re always hoping that we’re number one and that we’re going to win, but Towson’s playing really well,” Ryan Tierney said. “Fairfield is playing really well; Delaware’s playing really well, so we’ll have to just keep on fighting and keep our head down till then.”
In a short period of time, Ryan Tierney’s proven that he’s not only the coach’s son, but an important part of this team and he hopes to continue to impress as the season moves forward.
“Ryan’s earned everything that he’s got so far,” Coach Tierney said. “This is the beginning of the rollercoaster ride for him … This is his run. I’ve had my run.”
“I’ve enjoyed every moment of having him here; from seeing what type of teammate he’s become to seeing what he’s done for his teammates and what his teammates have done for him, and I look forward to getting back on the field every day with him.”