UNTOLD, presented by USA Lacrosse Magazine. In this series, we turn the story over to you — the athlete, the coach, the fan, the community. No filter. Just your experience and what it means within the context of our sport. Marc Poust is a goalie at Stevenson University.

"> Marc Poust: More Than a Game | USA Lacrosse Magazine


Marc Poust: More Than a Game

Welcome to UNTOLD, presented by USA Lacrosse Magazine. In this series, we turn the story over to you — the athlete, the coach, the fan, the community. No filter. Just your experience and what it means within the context of our sport. Marc Poust is a goalie at Stevenson University.

They say college is the best four years of your life. Nine years later, I concur, but with one major caveat: do not expect your experience to go smoothly or without any adversity.  

After my freshman year at Stevenson, I made the difficult decision to leave the team and return home to re-evaluate my life. I was struggling mightily in the classroom, sometimes skipping classes for week-long stretches at a time. I prioritized my social standing far more than my academic and athletic performances. My dad was dealing with countless medical procedures, including various amputations of his leg. I needed to take the time off, but the fact that I was letting down my teammates and the coaches who granted me the opportunity to achieve my dreams ate at me every day for two years. 

When I got my chance to come back, I pounced on it. 

Down in Owings Mills, Md., we break every team huddle with the same word. Family. Sometimes, when you say a word consistently over and over, it begins to lose its meaning.  

Not that word. Not for me. 

“Even in the darkest of times, one thing will consistently remain with you. Family.”

— Marc Poust

I was named an All-American at the end of last season, an outstanding achievement many hope to accomplish when beginning their collegiate lacrosse careers. But for some reason, it did not matter much to me. Being recognized as one of the best players in the country does not mean as much when your biggest supporter is not around to see.  

I laid my father to rest on March 29, 2021. The last time I saw him before the lid of the casket shut left a lasting image. How can a body drained of its life provide you with such vigor? Well, when your dad is buried wearing your team’s lacrosse sweatshirt, you start to realize how much a sport can impact the identity of your family. When Coach Cantabene showed up at the funeral and consoled my loved ones and I like they were his own, the light bulb went off. Even in the darkest of times, one thing will consistently remain with you. Family. 

I was at the lowest point of my life, searching for answers to questions I knew had no solutions. Why him? Why me? I knew that the only one place that could provide me with the strength and solace to move forward was on the turf between the pipes. Luckily enough, I had little time to cope. We had a game in two days.  

The first few games after his death were a blur. We were winning games, but I would be lying if I was not wrapped up in the emotional aspect of the game. I was not only playing for the name on the front of my jersey — I was playing for the man responsible for getting me this far. 

I learned a lot from my father. He always stressed maintaining a consistent level of physical and mental toughness. A 6:00 a.m. conditioning session may be difficult, but it pales in comparison to spending close to 20 years in the Navy, like my father did. Am I really going to call up my dad and complain about a bone bruise here or there when he is dealing with his second leg amputation? There are no excuses in life. Someone, somewhere, is always going to have it much worse than you. If you love something enough, you will always find a way of overcoming adversity.  

After last season, I took some time away from the game that provided me with so many opportunities. I was invited to the USILA Division III All-Star game, a prestigious event in the lacrosse community that I remember watching clips of growing up. I declined. I pondered entering the transfer portal to see if I could make the jump to the Division I level. I quickly backtracked. I was lost, not even remotely interested in finding direction. 

Sometimes, it takes a brief hiatus to reignite that flame inside you. And when my coach called me and said everything is ready for you if you want to come back for the spring, how could I say no? After all, you should never say no to your family.  

This is my seventh year playing college lacrosse. I hear the old man chirps reverberate from the opposing sideline every game, and all I can really do is laugh. My story may be unprecedented, but I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the absurdity of it. Put it this way: when I set the Pennsylvania high school career saves record in the spring of 2015, some of my teammates were just finishing their first year of middle school. Maybe the old man jokes are warranted after all. 

At this point, I am somewhat of an elder statesman on Mustang Beach, one who can provide the team with the wisdom and lessons I learned from my experiences in Owings Mills. I mean, I have to be. I played with all the guys that made Stevenson such a desirable option for this current wave of players. At the same time, I still need to challenge myself to be the best player on the field on any given day. I have to show the young bucks the old man still has it, you know? 

And even being older than most of my competition, I still struggle to comprehend that some days just aren’t going to be my day. Whether I’m not seeing the ball as well or my hands are not as quick as they usually are, I always have to put my best foot forward. Sometimes, you have to take a step back and realize you are playing a game, and games should be fun, right? Don’t take yourself too seriously; if you’re stressing out, chances are you’re not going to play well. One thing I do to remind myself of this is by having some fun with my attire on game day.  


My gameday appearance has been a lightning rod for both attention and criticism throughout the years. From the two feet of hair flowing out of the back of my helmet to the “Fear God” tape on the front of my helmet, I would be ignorant not to acknowledge that my look is tremendously unique. But they say goalies are a different breed, right? You might as well lean in and have a little fun with it.  

Interestingly enough, the “Fear God” tape only became a thing when goalies were briefly required to wear the Cascade face shield for COVID-19. Like most things in my life, I needed to find a way to put my own distinct twist on it. Goalies have traditionally written initials or words on their throat guard, but has anyone ever written something on their actual facemask? The wheels started turning. 

The phrase dates back to a 2015 episode of NFL “Hard Knocks” with former Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins got into an altercation with one of Washington’s players and repeatedly muttered the phrase, “I fear God.” It was just an emotional quote in the heat of battle, but I interpreted it as more of a mindset in order to be successful. To be great at anything in life, it is imperative to overcome fear. The fear of rejection. The fear of criticism. The fear of getting hit with the ball. After all, when you are staring down the barrel of a 90-plus mph shot, there is no time to be afraid — you need to make a play. 

How did my family feel about my look? “Well, that’s just Marc.” That’s about it. At the end of the day, I am just being me. I march to the beat of my own drum and don’t really care what others have to say. If I want to wear a LeBron James high school jersey under my pads with my father’s dog tags hanging out the front, I am going to do it, and I am going to cause problems for your team all day while doing it, too. 

I am wounded. I am currently donning 14 stitches in my right knee, and the scars and bruises that cover my body remind me of just how long I have been involved in the game. Sometimes, it is a battle just to walk without a limp, let alone hop in the cage and take shots. I am worn out in all three phases of life; physically, mentally and emotionally. There are days where I think, “Why am I still playing?”  

The answer is simple: Because I can. And I will be damned if I just throw in the towel at this point. The game means too much to my father and I. 

Do you have a story to share? Please email Kenny DeJohn (kdejohn@usalacrosse.com) with “UNTOLD” in the subject line.