RHS Alum Serves Country and Team
Pat Kiernan was named the MVP of the U.S. Naval Academy's lacrosse team.
Receiving the biggest honor of his college career, former Ridgewood High School standout Pat Kiernan was recently named the MVP of the 2012 men's lacrosse team at the United States Naval Academy.
"I was surprised,” Kiernan said about the award, which was announced at the annual team banquet. “But I am very grateful to have received the award. It means the most to me that my teammates voted on it."
Kiernan, who graduated from Ridgewood High School in 2009, said he cherishes both the recognition and his choice to serve his country.
"In high school I was pretty caught in between wanting to be in the Navy and being able to play (NCAA) Division I lacrosse. So when Navy began to recruit me, it was an easy decision to make to come to (Annapolis).”
Kiernan was about 10 or 11 when he joined the Ridgewood Rec League and was soon at the varsity level, sparkling for RHS. During the 2009 season, he was the Maroons MVP and team captain and was named the North Jersey Defenseman of the Year for boys lacrosse.
"I have a ton of awesome memories of growing up in Ridgewood," Kiernan said. "Being a member of the Ridgewood (High) lacrosse team . . . brought me memories that will stick with me forever . . . The chants we would get going on the buses back home (after) a big win. Sometimes I would walk off the bus crying from laughter."
After a year at the Naval Academy Prep School in Rhode Island, Kiernan relocated to Annapolis and quickly proved an alert, versatile midfielder/defender.
As a long pole, the second-year economics major was a 2012 team leader in turnovers caused and in grabbing ground balls. He finished his sophomore season as the second-leading scoring defender in the country with seven goals and three assists.
Kiernan, who attends Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Ridgewood, also appreciates the steady support provided by his parents, Stacey and Peter.
"When I call home or my parents come to visit, my father will bring up lacrosse rarely and when he does, it will be after everything else is covered; whether it is performance in school, in the hall or anything else," he said. "I think he consciously does this, in a way, to show me that there are many other important things in my life outside of lacrosse. He calms me down and sets me straight, in such a way that only he could pull off and I appreciate it greatly."
"When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe," Kiernan says, recalling a favorite quote. "Then you will be successful."