Brett Malamphy is victorious every time he takes the field.
The Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team has domin this season, and Malamphy is winning 69 percent of his faceoffs this season.
For Malamphy though, true victory lies in his ability to overcome the numerous obstacles in his life.
The main obstacle he has faced is narcolepsy, which he has dealt with throughout his lacrosse career. But it was not just his ability to get on the field that was impacted: his life was altered as well.
The troubles began in high school, when Malamphy missed a large amount of class time due to doctor’s appointments and had to transfer from St. Mary’s to Arundel High School to finish his high school education.
Upon graduating from Arundel High School, Malamphy decided to continue playing lacrosse with the University of Maryland Baltimore County. His first season as a Retriever was largely a success.
Malamphy played 12 games in his freshman campaign, scooping up 20 ground balls and securing 50 percent of his faceoffs.
It was Malamphy’s second season as a Retriever that would be cut short, as he played just three games before being forced to medically withdraw from the university.
Malamphy, who is generally a positive person, admittedly went through a time of discouragement and hopelessness.
“I won’t deny that, with my narcolepsy, there was a very dark path for a little bit … I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to play lacrosse anymore,” Malamphy said. “Even doctors were saying that no one really plays sports with it, and even going to college alone was going to be pretty hard.”
Despite this, Malamphy still had a burning passion to return to lacrosse. Knowing that Salisbury had one of the top men’s lacrosse teams in Division III, Malamphy decided to contact head coach Jim Berkman.
Malamphy fell in love with SU on his visit. He made the decision to join the Sea Gulls and, after sitting for the 2017 season due to the medical withdrawal, joined the team last season.
“Once you’re in a hole like that, if you don’t have something that you really want to do, it’s very hard to get back out,” Malamphy said. “But because of lacrosse and being able to play for Salisbury, it really allowed me to get out of that hole and be where I am today.”
It did not take long for Malamphy to realize he had made the right decision. From the moment he entered the locker room, the acceptance and energy from his new teammates made him feel welcome.
“Right from the get-go, the entire team had my back, especially the captains,” Malamphy said. “I feel like that’s what has made me so confident.”
One very important teammate for Malamphy’s transition into SU was now-senior midfielder T.J. Logue. In his first two seasons with the university, Logue tallied four goals and 100 ground balls while winning 57 percent of his faceoffs.
Though he was already Salisbury’s main guy for the faceoff spot, Logue welcomed Malamphy with open arms.
“T.J., man, the guy’s great,” Malamphy said. “When you have someone coming in from transfer, thinking 'Oh, he might take my spot,' sometimes things can get a little hostile. Not with T.J. He was just great, he welcomed me in and basically put me under his wing.”
The pair shined as a unit last season, allowing the Gulls to win just shy of 60 percent of their faceoffs last season. This season, the job fell solely on Malamphy’s shoulders as he got the opportunity to take over as the lead faceoff man.
Malamphy has thrived in his increased role. In addition to his ability to win faceoffs, he has also scored two goals this season and scooped up a team-high 110 ground balls.
For Malamphy though, all the credit goes to his teammates and the close bonds they have in the locker room.
“Our chemistry is amazing,” Malamphy said. “In the locker room, we’re always together, even out of the locker room, we’re always eating together and hanging out together.”
This level of chemistry among the team is undoubtedly one of many reasons it is the top team in Division III, currently boasting a 14-0 record this season.
For the Sea Gulls, who are pursuing their 13th national championship as a program, the addition of Malamphy to the squad has already paid massive dividends. As the team moves into the CAC and NCAA tournaments, Malamphy’s success at the X will become ever more important.
Malamphy has been through the ringer over the past few years, but he did not let anything prevent him from returning to the field, and he is now playing at the highest level of his career.
“It’s a blessing,” Malamphy said. “I definitely feel that I went through everything I went through for a reason.”
By NICK LEWIS
Featured photos: Brett Malamphy takes the field before the game on April 17 (KB Mensah image); Malamphy fist bumps his teammate before the game (Marshall Haas image).