Considering Darien’s tradition of goaltending success, Phil Huffard’s chances of eventually playing at the highest level of Division I lacrosse seemed almost ordained even before he earned a spot on Darien’s varsity team as a freshman.

That’s because, as you will learn more about, Huffard’s four predecessors as Blue Wave starting goalie have all gone on to  play at  the D-I level, most recently 2012 graduate Dylan Torey (Quinnipiac).

In his first season as Darien’s starting goaltender this past season, the 5-foot-7 right-hander left little doubt he was on a similar path.

Huffard quickly became a target recruit of teams from throughout the Ivy League before deciding to stay close to home by verbally committing to Yale, as first reported at

He is a strong stopper with quick hands who clears the ball well and is active outside the crease.

Now, here’s a Q&A with Phil on his commitment.

What were the main factors in your decision?
There were many factors that influenced my decision to commit to the Yale admissions process.

Because New Haven is only 40 minutes away from Darien, I was able to visit Yale many times this spring. I was able to attend practices and watch multiple games which gave me a good sense of the program and the coaches.

Another main factor in my decision was the coaching staff.  (Head) Coach (Andy) Shay, (Assistant) Coach (Graham) Niemi and (Assistant) Coach (Brian) Schneider all made me feel very welcome and at home whenever I talked to them or went up to Yale to visit and watch games.

The current Yale player also played a big part in my decision. They all had nothing but positive things to say about Yale as a school as well as the lacrosse program.

recruiting_updateLastly, I am very excited to attend Yale. When deciding on a school, I carefully considered the lacrosse program, but I also looked closely at the school and the educational opportunities.

Yale is one of the best universities, and I think I am very lucky to have the opportunity to attend.

What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
In addition to Yale, I visited and considered Harvard, Penn, Brown, Dartmouth and Georgetown.

What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My style of play is very aggressive. In addition to stopping the ball, I try to make plays out of the crease on loose balls and in the clearing game. My strengths include my outlet passes and my ability to command the defense.

Who have been some of the biggest influences on you during your development as a player?
Darien has a long tradition of great lacrosse, even starting at theyouth level. My first travel coaches in fifth grade were former Syracuse players Dom Fin and John Glatzel.

Darien also has a longstanding tradition of great goalies. My first three goalie coaches were former Darien goalies Chris Madalon (UNC ’11), Jameson Love (Bryant ’12) and Andrew West (Cornell ’14). I have been lucky enough to be able to learn from each of them, as well as Jake Myers (Cornell’09), during the course of my career.

Lastly, (Darien Head) Coach (Jeff) Brameier has helped me every step of the way. He was involved during my youth lacrosse years, he has watched me every summer as head of the CT Chargers program, and he has been there as the coach of Darien High School.

 * For more info on Phil, check out his player profile by clicking here.

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Posted In: Fairfield lacrosse, fciac, Recruiting Rundown

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5 Responses to “Darien rising junior goaltender Huffard headed to Yale”

  1. I-95 Lax says:

    Have been very impressed by his communication skills and poise under pressure. Should do well in college.

  2. Ride the Wave says:

    Perfect fit academically and athletically and location wise. All the best Phil!

  3. CT Lax says:

    Definitely has a promising college career ahead of him not to mention two more in the FCIAC.

  4. LaxDawg says:

    Yeh Phil

  5. Wakeman Lacrosse says:

    Congratulations! Time goes by very quickly and it is nice to see how many of the CONNY kids are growing up and doing well in the classroom and on the lacrosse field. Good Luck at Yale…..great school and a great staff. Your parents should be proud.

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