After asking Doug Biondi the number of goals his sister, Lindsay, has scored in her six-year varsity lacrosse career, he ponders the question and responds, “376 is my guess.”
“Doug knows all my stats,” Lindsay, 18, says with a huge smile. While his 100 goals in four seasons pales in comparison to his sister, Doug is clearly proud of his little sister’s accomplishments. Lindsay is equally impressed with the player her brother has become. The Biondis are twins. Doug, a 6-foot-3 attackman, is an hour older than Lindsay, a 5-foot-6 midfielder.
Following standout prep careers at Ithaca High School, they will each continue their lacrosse journeys in the fall at Division I colleges. Lindsay, one of the top recruits in the country, will suit up at the University of Maryland, while Doug will play at Hartford. The twins push, support, inspire, and amaze each other. They are each others’ biggest fans and also each others’ biggest critics.
“It’s really great having someone to practice with 24/7,” Lindsay said. “We can go out in our yard and just catch and throw and do 1-on-1. We just push each other to be better. We are both competitive, which is really nice, because we both push each other to be better players.”
Though Doug is the older brother, he picked up the sport a year after Lindsay. Lindsay first picked up a stick in first grade, following the example of older sisters, Emily and Kaitlan. Both played collegiately — Emily at James Madison and Kaitlan at Allegheny College. Kaitlan is the head coach for the Swedish national team and will lead her team in its first appearance in the FIL Women’s World Cup next month in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
Both Biondi parents, Mike and Laura, played at Ithaca College. Mike was a standout in lacrosse and football, earning lacrosse All-American honors in 1980 and 1981. Mike and Laura always served as coaches for their children. The twins view it as carrying on the family tradition. Lindsay wears her father’s college number, 14, and hopes to wear it again at Maryland.
“We were never the type of family to sit around and do nothing,” said Lindsay, who is undecided on her college major
“Every single of the kids in our family just fell in love with the sport,” added Doug, who will major in biology with an eye toward medical school. “Our entire lives started to revolve around it, everything we did. It’s not just Lindsay, but it’s both of my older sisters, too. Ever since we were young, we’ve been playing in the yard and we had some of the most intense games. We had games that ended up in tears, just little pick-up games, because we played so hard against each other.”
They grew up playing in Brewster, Putnam County. The Section I school is on Long Island. Lindsay made the varsity team as a seventh-grader and earned All-American honors as a sophomore. Doug started playing varsity lacrosse as a freshman. The family moved to Ithaca before their sophomore year, but Lindsay stayed at Brewster for that season. She starting playing at IHS as a junior. The move to Ithaca has suited the Biondis very well.
“It’s the most unique program I have ever seen in my life,” Doug said. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just how close we are as a team. They accepted me right away.”
“It’s cool though, because it’s not just a team, it’s a community,” Lindsay added. “Everyone all around town supports Ithaca lacrosse, which is awesome. I did the stats (for the boys team) and even then, watching what the parents do for the team, what the coaches do, and what the players do for each other, it’s incredible.
“And it’s nice to see the spirit and success of the boys program carry over to the girls program. After watching their intensity and their back-to-back state championship visits, the girls were jealous and clearly wanted that. We wanted it as badly as they did.”
Each team fell just short of its postseason goals, however. The boys dropped a heartbreaking 10-9 game to Section III’s West Genesee in the Class A state quarterfinals, while the girls saw their best season in a few years end with a loss to Corning in the Section 4 Class A title game.
Doug and Lindsay experienced living apart during sophomore year. That will happen again at the end of the summer. They are not looking forward to being separated, but the bond will remain strong. While they would’ve liked to end up at the same school, the Biondis will still be cheering each other on with just as much enthusiasm.
“It’s weird,” Lindsay said. “We’ve been together, side-by-side our entire lives.”
“It’s going to be weird not seeing her everyday,” Doug said. Lindsay quickly and wryly interjects, “He’s going to miss my bright smile.”
Lindsay is quick to point out that the Hartford men open the 2014 season at Maryland.
“I am excited about that,” Lindsay said. “I will put on all my Hartford gear.”
“No, you won’t,” Doug quickly responded.
“I have to,” Lindsay offered.
Graduating high school is the first step for the Biondis. Lacrosse has brought them together and it will also carry them to different schools.
“I don’t even know what to say about it,” Lindsay said. “This whole process has been unreal. I feel just so blessed for everything that has happened to us. We’ve been working our butts off all our lives to do this. Our hard work has definitely paid off.
“I also think we have our parents to thank,” Doug added. “They were really tough on us when we were young and we didn’t realize it then, but it made us much better players and much better people, too.”