Sticking to a Cause: Alumnus Honored by Lacrosse Magazine

2000 alumnus scores goals for lacrosse team and hospitalized children

By Magazine Staff  |  Photos courtesy of Tim Goettelmann, '00
Tim Goettelmann

As an attackman for Greyhounds lacrosse, Tim Goettelmann, ’00, wore No. 10.

When he graduated and was drafted by the Long Island Lizards, Goettelmann requested a different number—No. 9—in honor of his former friend and teammate Gerry Case. Case was a Loyola student-athlete—and a promising lacrosse player—who died suddenly in March 1997 of a meningitis-related infection.

“Our friendship of only seven months is lasting forever,” said Goettelmann. “I actually still talk to him when I am on the field during my practices and games. I truly believe he is a big part of my lacrosse success during and after Loyola.”

Goettelmann’s most recent success on the field earned him recognition as the 2010 Lacrosse Magazine Person of the Year by US Lacrosse, the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse.

A three-time all-star, Goettelmann is one of the few 10-year veterans of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) who have played every year since the professional league’s inaugural 2001 season.

“The league started right after I graduated and I was drafted in my hometown,” said Goettelmann, who grew up in Manhasset, N.Y., and lives in Garden City, N.Y., with his wife, Lisa Topping, ’00, and their three daughters. “It all just fell in place. I wanted to continue playing after Loyola, and I thought if I really worked hard at it, I would be able to.”

This year Goettelmann—who also has a full-time job as an insurance broker with Hartan Brokerage Inc. in Manhattan—broke two MLL records (for goals and game-winning goals) and led the Lizards to the league championship game. But Lacrosse Magazine honored him not just because of his lacrosse success but also because of his passion for helping children at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

Nicknamed “The Monster,” the 6-foot-4 and 230-lb. Goettelmann, donates time and resources—including his entire 2010 lacrosse salary—to Monster’s Kids, a charitable foundation he created two years ago to benefit patients at the hospital.

As he prepared for one weekend tournament, Goettelmann e-mailed all the players asking each of them to donate $9—because he wears No. 9—to Monster’s Kids.

“We get paid a couple hundred dollars to play for the weekend, and it’s just $9,” said Goettelmann. “They all responded. The number was fantastic. It’s such a great little community.”

Goettelmann, who led Loyola to four NCAA tournament appearances, will return for an 11th season with the Lizards next spring. He still holds Loyola’s single-season goals scored record with 50—set during his senior campaign in 2000—and he is Loyola’s ninth all-time goal scorer, with 94 between 1997-2000.

Matt Dwan, ’95, assistant coach for Greyhounds men’s lacrosse, played against Goettelmann in the MLL. “He’s a tough guy to play against because he’s really, really big,” Dwan said. “But he’s a really good guy who has a gentle giant attitude. He’s a very tough player on the field, and off the field a really pleasant guy to be around.”

The Lacrosse Magazine Person of the Year award was initiated in 2007 and recognizes those who have had a tremendous positive influence on the sport and transcended all levels of the game in that given year. Goettelmann was also named the 2009 New Balance MLL Sportsman of the Year for creating Monster’s Kids.

Both on and off the field, Goettelmann still thinks often of Case, his fellow attackman for the Greyhounds. “I owe a lot to him,” he said. “He was definitely a better attackman than I was.”

Case’s No. 9 was retired and his jersey hangs in the men’s lacrosse team’s locker room. Every year the team holds a golf tournament in his memory, with the proceeds supporting a team retreat with the Rev. Tim Brown, S.J., special assistant to the president for mission integration.

At Loyola, where Goettelmann majored in communication, he enjoyed playing lacrosse for “a no-football school.” And he appreciated the attention he received from faculty and others who offered tutoring assistance and helped him graduate with a grade point average above 3.0 and one course away from an art minor. It was the Greyhounds lacrosse community, however, where he found his home on campus and his passion for the game.

“I will always love the sport so much,” he said. “It’s the competition. I just love competing, even in practice. I love the up and down, back and forth, banging bodies, competing. And the guys that play, they’re just great people.”

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