Attacking the crease: Garner closes in on school record

lacrosse

Senior attacker Dylan Garner drives toward the net in a 10-9 win against California Polytechnic State University in March 2015. Panther Archives

With 157 goals and 93 assists in his 68-game Chapman career, senior attacker Dylan Garner has made the All-America First Team twice, as an attacker in 2017 and a midfielder in 2016. Head coach Dallas Hartley said Garner is four points away from breaking Chapman’s career points record.

Honestly, (the school record) doesn’t really mean anything

But Garner is still down-to-earth. He was described by the father of a reserve player as someone who “doesn’t have a cocky bone in his body.”

When asked what makes him such a gifted scorer, Garner quickly deflected the credit to his teammates and coaching staff.

“Honestly, (the school record) doesn’t really mean anything,” Garner said. “I was put in a great situation and the coaching (staff) has given me the green light to go out and play, to trust me to make the right decision.”

In fourth grade, Garner’s older brother no longer wanted to play baseball. As the Garner brothers and their father drove by a junior high school in Oregon, they saw a lacrosse game.

Garner’s brother decided on the spot that he wanted to play lacrosse. And when Garner was in fourth grade and his dad no longer had the heart to coach baseball, he made the same shift to lacrosse.

About a decade later, Garner averages 4.8 points per game, good for 15th-best in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA).
aaJack Phillips, a sophomore defensive midfielder, said that, while Garner is talented, his skill isn’t the only reason why the senior attacker is a standout. It’s his self-awareness, his helpfulness, his work ethic and his leadership, Phillips said.

“He contributes in more ways than seen on a field: it’s off the field, it’s in chalk talks, it’s in film, it’s in nights when we don’t have practice and he’s shooting, he’s working,” Phillips said. “He works with the new kids on the side, to get them to the Chapman lacrosse level of play. He really looks after the team as a whole and as a family.”

Head coach Dallas Hartley agreed, saying that Garner is “exactly” who someone would want to lead a team.

“He’s a positive leader, and as great as he is as a player, he’s just as great of a person,” Hartley said.

As Chapman heads into the MCLA playoffs, Garner maintains the same championship aspirations he had in Chapman’s title-winning season in 2016. He relishes the friendships that he has made in his time playing lacrosse.

“I love coming out and being with the team,” Garner said. “That’s the best part about it. All my best friends are out here playing, and playing with this team is unbelievable.”