DURHAM, N.C.—Former Duke men’s lacrosse All-American and captain Kevin Cassese garnered one of the highest honors for a player this past weekend when he was inducted into the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Cassese was one of nine inductees as the Class of 2018 in a ceremony Sept. 29 at The Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley, Md.
Cassese is the fourth Blue Devil to be inducted and the first as a player. Other Duke graduates who have been inducted are Eugene Corrigan, Frederick Eisenbrandt and Nolan Rogers.
Mike Pressler, who coached Cassese at Duke and was the head coach of the 2010 U.S. team, served as his presenter.
“Kevin was so athletic and so gifted, he rose to the occasion in the biggest of moments,” Pressler said. “You wanted to have the ball in his stick to decide the end of the game. He was arguably the greatest two-way midfielder that I’ve ever had the privilege to coach. He was the ultimate teammate and ultimate team guy, and his leadership ability was remarkable. Second to none among any player I’ve ever coached.”
One of Duke’s most decorated players, Cassese was a three-time All-American, including earning first-team honors in 2002 and 2003. He helped guide the Blue Devils to ACC Championships in both 2001 and 2002 and was honored as the ACC Player of the Year in 2001. He followed up his ACC Player of the Year award the following season by being voted the Lt. Donald MacLaughlin National Midfielder of the Year.
Cassese picked up his first All-ACC honor in 2001 and added two more All-ACC accolades in 2002 and 2003. He served as captain of the Blue Devils in 2002 and 2003 and was instrumental in guiding Duke to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
In his four years as a player in Durham, Cassese guided the Blue Devils to a 38-25 overall record, winning two ACC titles and advancing to the NCAA Tournament from 2000-2002.
He was equally as successful on the International lacrosse stage as well as in the professional ranks. He donned the U.S. crest as a member of the 2002, 2006 and 2010 U.S. Men’s National Teams. He helped the United States to the gold medal at the 2002 and 2006 FIL World Championships and served as captain of the 2010 team that took silver.
In Major League Lacrosse, Cassese enjoyed a seven-year professional career. He was the second pick overall in the 2003 draft and was voted to the all-star team in 2005 and 2006, garnering All-Star game MVP honors in 2006.
The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, a program of US Lacrosse, was established in 1957 to honor men and women who by their deeds as players, coaches, officials and/or contributors, and by the example of their lives, personify the great contribution of lacrosse to our way of life. Over 400 lacrosse greats are honored in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame & Museum, which is located at US Lacrosse Headquarters in Sparks, Maryland.