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Stories/Op-Ed

Same Position, Different Teams, One Goal

Kevin and Steven Orleman are two goalies in the National Lacrosse League, but on two different teams, Panther City Lacrosse Club and the New York Riptide. They represent two of the newest franchises in the league.

They have a unique story and are history in the making.

During Week Seven in January 2022- the guys suited up and played for their respected teams- against one other. We are accustomed to seeing siblings square off against each other, but not so much with each suiting up between the pipes.

Kevin’s Panther City Lacrosse Club would get the win, the first in their franchise’s history in a dramatic 13-12 overtime win. Kevin played the entire game, saving 41 of 53 shots whereas Steven came in for relief for Gowah Abrams once the Riptide went down 8-3 and played just under 43 minutes. He would save 16 of 21 shots in his time.

Siblings, both in the net, but on different teams, something hasn’t happened before in the 35 history of the National Lacrosse League.

Steven said, “It really didn’t settle in until after the game on how special the games really was, knowing how many people get the privilege to actually do that.”

Steven said further, “It was a weird dynamic looking down at the other end seeing Kev down there.”

Asking older brother, Kevin, 25, what words of wisdom he shared with his younger brother, 22, before taking the floor, he said it was pretty simple.

“Do your thing, have fun with it and enjoy the moment.”

A special moment both of the guys won’t ever forget.

Two brothers with the same goal in mind to be professional netminders at the highest level. Growing up playing the game of lacrosse together, following in each other’s footsteps.

Brothers holding important roster spots in a 15-team league is no small feat.

Kevin was originally drafted in the 2016 NLL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Bandits as the first goalie off the board at pick 18, coincidently just one pick ahead of Albany’s Doug Jamieson and Halifax’s Warren Hill respectively. He would not find a consistent roster spot until 2018 when he was on the Georgia Swarm.

When Steven was drafted in 2018 to the NLL, the second goalie off the board (Rylan Hartley) and 19th overall, he was drafted to Georgia Swarm to be along side his brother.

That’s when they really enjoyed being together at the professional level.

Enjoying moments like being roommates when they traveled for games, and leaning on each other to help one another—- like not getting lost in an airport or traveling to new cities.

Steven said when he signed as a free agent in August of 2020 to the Riptide, he was worried about getting around different and not having the help from his brother.

Kevin would eventually find a home with the most recent expansion team, the Panther City Lacrosse Club, after being selected in the 2021 Expansion Draft from the Swarm. He was one of two goalies selected by PCLC, along with Nick Damude from San Diego.

Both Orleman goalies have been looking to make their mark in the NLL. They are young goalies on young franchises trying to get their footing in the NLL and find out which direction they are heading in. Steven has emerged as a starter for the Riptide in recent weeks whereas Panther City has been trying both of their options in net to find the best fit.

In the 2021-22 season, each has seen a lot of minutes in net. Kevin up to Week 14 has played just over 250 minutes with a .723 save percentage and a 12.41 goals against average. Steven has amassed over 450 minutes played with a .751 save percentage and a 13.14 goals against average.

Regardless, they both have bright futures ahead of them in this league.

Two talented young guys, wearing the same name on their jersey, only one number apart— I had to ask who is more competitive.

While both enjoy a healthy competition, they always push each other to be better.

Kevin as the elder brother made it known, “Stevie always had to be better than his brother at whatever he did.”

Growing up, when Kevin became a goaltender, it was only soon after Steven did too to follow in his brothers steps.

Goaltenders now making goals (and trying to save some from occurring) for the remaining of this season and for the remainder of their careers—

Steven in his first year as goalie and as it may be intimidating he says, he has a veteran mindset.

“My personal goal is to do whatever it takes to help the team win.”

Kevin expanded on that and is beyond excited for more opportunities to play against each other again, but in the end as competitor- Kevin said, “a goal is always a championship.”

They both hope to accomplish just that, whether on separate teams or together again. Who knows, maybe one day they will see each other on opposite ends of the floor one day competing for that title.

NLL