UMBC men’s lacrosse senior goalie Tommy Lingner recently chatted with PressBox about how he became a goalie, what it means to be a captain for the Retrievers in 2022 and more. The 6-foot, 190-pound Lingner started all 11 games and posted a 9.18 goals-against average for UMBC in 2021.
PressBox: How did you become interested in lacrosse?
Tommy Lingner: I started at a very young age. I remember my dad actually got me into it. I did a lot of sports before that like basketball. I did gymnastics for a while for flexibility and soccer. It was a ton of sports, so I was always active. I remember [my dad] was talking to one of my friends in I guess it was middle school or elementary school. He was telling him about lacrosse and he was like, “Oh, he should try it.” So I tried it one time and I was instantly hooked. But I didn’t play goalie the entire time.
PB: How did you become a goalie?
TL: I think it’s kind of the same story for every goalie that there ever was ever. It’s either you didn’t have a goalie for a game and you had to play, or you got thrown into the position, but either way you kind of just get thrown into it. I remember we were playing one game for my public school middle school team … and our goalie didn’t show up. I guess he was sick or whatever happened. I had to go in and ended up playing very well. My dad was like, “Maybe you should just play goalie,” and I was like, “All right.” The rest is history.
PB: Who was the biggest influence on your game growing up?
TL: Growing up, I watched a lot of college and I watched a lot of high school, too, at times. I remember when I was younger I would watch a lot of St. Anthony’s High School on Long Island in New York. That’s where I ended up going. Kieran Burke ended up at UNC. And then when I was there, I would look up to Jack Concannon, who’s now in the PLL playing for the Atlas. I think Jack Concannon’s a big inspiration for my game and I watched him a lot to try to get techniques and the way he plays down and just add my own style to it.
PB: Why did you choose to come to UMBC?
TL: I looked at a couple schools before and I actually went on this tour with [head coach Ryan Moran]. He was at the University of Maryland. When he was there, we were talking. And then he ended up going to Loyola, and then he ended up here and I ended up just following him. Coach Moran’s dad is my high school rival’s head coach, so I already had a little connection there. He kind of ended up bringing me to UMBC. I went to visit. I ended up loving the campus, loving the guys on the team and just the overall atmosphere and it just seemed like the best place for me.
PB: What’s your favorite memory so far at UMBC?
TL: It’s kind of a tie. I think beating Albany [as a freshman in 2018] was a great moment in my career, and I think obviously winning the America East [in 2019] was one of the highlights, but it’s kind of hard to pick one. I’d have to say the America East just because the team as a whole, it was just a great moment. That Albany one was also very satisfying.
PB: What does it mean to you to be a team captain this year?
TL: I think for me, the way I want to do it is I want the team to be the closest it’s ever been and I want the guys to just be working as hard as they can all the time, not because they have to but because they want to. I think that comes down to just bringing out the best in everybody in whichever way possible and just finding that desire and getting the reason out of everybody [about] why they wake up in the morning. I think that’ll help push people to be the best they can possibly be.
PB: What’s your favorite thing about UMBC and Catonsville?
TL: I think me and the rest of the guys would all say Taneytown in Catonsville would probably be one of the best things around here. … It’s a deli in Catonsville, Md., that the whole team kind of revolves around.
PB: Who’s your best friend on the team and what’s a story that underscores your friendship?
TL: There are a lot of guys that I consider my close friends and there are the closer ones. I would say obviously my housemates, for sure — Brandon Galloway and Nick Dupuis, very close friends of mine. I have my boys on defense that I’m super, super tight with that I see every single day, and that’s Mason Edwards, Tony Diallo and Keith Dukes and those guys.
PB: Who was a player you looked up to when you got to UMBC?
TL: I think that’s easy for me by saying Gunnar Schimoler. When I came in, he was a junior. He ended up being our captain for two years. He was just great. Whenever he would talk, I would be so locked into what he was saying. He was just a great leader overall.
PB: What advice would you give to younger players?
TL: Don’t get down on yourself when you make a bad play. When the coaches obviously get mad at some plays and things aren’t going the right way, it’s just to be able to turn the other cheek and be able to keep going.
PB: What are your goals for after lacrosse?
TL: It’s still up in the air. Maybe I’ll shoot for something in the lacrosse field, maybe something professional if the opportunity arises. Other than that, just get a job somewhere and figure it out. Honestly, after college I’m not really set one specific thing. I know my brother wants to start his own company and he wants to do that with me and maybe my dad because he’s an entrepreneur himself.
Photo Credit: John McCreary