Unlike many of their fellow seniors at Harvard, Kevin Vaughan and Daniel DiMaria no longer have to worry about finding employment after graduation this May.
Instead, they are on their way to becoming professional lacrosse players, as the two Crimson standouts were selected in the Major League Lacrosse collegiate draft Friday night.
Vaughan, a tri-captain and midfielder from Ridgewood, N.J., was taken in the second round—the 14th pick overall—by the Denver Outlaws. DiMaria, a defenseman from Dix Hills, N.Y., was taken four rounds later—the 41st overall selection—by the Charlotte Hounds, an expansion franchise.
“I’m still taking it all in,” DiMaria said. “I thought I had a good chance [of getting drafted], but you never really know what’s going to happen with that, so I wasn’t sure. It turns out I was, and I’m really pumped about it.”
Vaughan and DiMaria were among a contingent of 12 Ivy Leaguers chosen by the eight-squad league—10 more than in last season’s draft—including Cornell’s Rob Pannell, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year who was taken first overall by the Long Island Lizards.
Pannell was the first player to be taken No. 1 overall out of the Ancient Eight in 11 years. Princeton’s Chad Wiedmaier was also taken in the first round, going seventh to the Hamilton Nationals. On the whole, three Tigers were taken, to go with four from the Big Red, two from Harvard, two from Yale, and one from Penn.
For the second straight year, the draft was held before the start of the upcoming NCAA season so that selected players could join their respective MLL squads directly after their senior years. Only seniors were eligible to be drafted.
Vaughan was taken higher than any player in Crimson history. The only other two Harvard graduates to have been selected in the MLL draft were John Henry Flood ’07 and Jason Duboe ’10. The latter is now a member of the Boston Cannons, who play their home games at Harvard Stadium.
“It’s a great thing for our team,” DiMaria said. “I’m so happy for Kevin; he works really hard. I think this just shows a real positive direction for our program.”
An Inside Lacrosse preseason All-American and an All-Ivy first team choice last season, Vaughan finished third on the team with 19 goals and 27 points in 2011 while serving as a co-captain. DiMaria paced Harvard with 56 ground balls and tied for the team lead with 13 turnovers.
Next season, the duo will look to lead the Crimson, ranked No. 19 in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll, to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006. But for now, at least, DiMaria is already looking further into the future.
“I love to play lacrosse,” he said. “I can’t wait to start the next chapter of my lacrosse life. Hopefully they give me a chance, and we’ll see what happens.”