Patrick Rodden had no idea what to expect when trying out for the Whittier lacrosse team a few weeks ago. Rodden was just a freshman and knew that the Wildcats had a goalie on their squad. But his tryout impressed coach Brian Richardson enough that he not only made the varsity squad, he also was named starting goalie.
"He's an overall tremendous goalie," said Richardson. "He not only has leadership, determination and the will to win, but he has a great skill level. I have no doubt that he will be one of the better goalies (in the region) in a year or so, I think he already is."
Rodden is backstopping a Whittier program that is in just its second year and is coming off a winless season, going 0-14. The Wildcats wasted no time in surpassing last year's record, picking up the program's first win in just the second game of the season. They followed that up with two more wins just a couple weeks later and stood at 3-5 as of last Thursday.
A main reason for those wins is Ridden, who has been peppered with shots in just about every game. He is averaging 17.5 saves per game, highlighted by his performance against Greater Lowell, when he stopped an incredible 21 out of 22 shots.
The Gazette sat down with Rodden to talk about life on and off the field.
Q: What were your initial goals going into this season?
A: To just get one win. I know that they didn't win a game last year, so I was hoping to get us on the board this year.
Q: Did you expect to start as a freshman?
A: I did not. I heard there was another goalie and, being a freshman, I did not expect that I would get to start over an upperclassman.