Lacrosse is no exception.
The photo above shows how Ryan Vanderford uses flexibility to his advantage.
“No matter how ridiculous I might look trying to save a shot, I never give up on anything,” he said.
And it’s helped the junior goaltender at Montclair High School (N.J.) secure a college future at the Division I level.
Vanderford has verbally committed to the University of Hartford.
The 5-foot-10, 155-pound right-hander, who first started playing lax at age 13, is also a hockey standout who plays forward. Attributes that help him in hockey — quick hands and quick feet — are also a big plus in lax.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Ryan on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
The coaching staff and the distancefrom my home. (Hartford Head) Coach (Peter) Lawrence and (Associate Head) Coach (Jon) Basti made me feel like a part of the Hartford family from my very first visit. Also, both coaches were very up front and direct with me throughout my whole recruiting process.
What other colleges were you considering?
Cornell, Marist, Washington & Lee, Stony Brook, Mount St. Mary and St. Joe’s.
What colleges did you visit?
Lehigh, Stony Brook, Marist, Hofstra and St Joe’s.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I have very quick hands and very quick feet which allows me to react faster than most goalies.
Also, I am very flexible. I do anything in my power to stop a shot coming at me. No matter how ridiculous I might look trying to save a shot, I never give up on anything.
What areas of your game have you been working to improve on?
My clearing game. Recently I have been working to improve getting the ball up and out of my stick quickly and efficiently.
Who have been some of the biggest influences on you during your development as a player?
People who have had a big influence on me as a player over the years would definitely be Coach Ed Nicole and Coach Ted Glenn. Both of them worked nonstop to put me together as a player.
And, of course, my parents. Neither of them ever played lacrosse growing up but I thank them from the bottom of my heart for everything the have done for me. I always have “mom and dad” written in my glove to remind me of how lucky I am to have them.
What travel team did you play on and what were some of the big showcase events you participated in last summer?
My summer team is Tri-state White/Navy, coached by M.V Whitlow and Don Green. I played in King of the Hill, Champ Camp, Tri-State National and the Brine Shootout.
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