Each week, The Baltimore Sun will publish a Q&A with a college lacrosse player or coach to get you better acquainted with the player and his/her team. Today's guest is Towson junior goalkeeper Tyler White, who was named the Colonial Athletic Association Co-Player of the Week after making a career-high 16 saves in Saturday's 6-5 upset of then-No. 18 Massachusetts.
White, who turned aside six shots in a pivotal fourth quarter in which neither team scored, ranks 19th in Division I in goals-against average at 8.86.
How would you assess your play in Saturday's win?
It was one of those games where I was just seeing the ball the whole time. The defense in front of me was giving me great chances to save the ball the whole time. They were giving up shots from the correct places, and it was one of those games where I actually felt pretty fast on that AstroTurf. A lot of kids didn't like it, but I actually liked it because there was such a true bounce and I just felt pretty fast on there. I had been struggling. I struggled in the past couple games against Delaware and some of the other teams. I knew I needed to get one of those breakout games.
When you are playing that well, do you wish you could play the next game immediately?
Yeah ... I was talking to [volunteer assistant coach and former Notre Dame goalie Scott] Rodgers about it, and I said, "Do you ever get those games where the ball seems as big as a beach ball? It seems like you're saving everything." He said, "When I was in college and we went on our tournament run [to the NCAA title game in 2010], I was just in the zone." That's kind of how I felt the other day.
Did you feel any pressure succeeding Andrew Wascavage in the net?
A little bit. I was really close with Andrew. I talked to him a lot when I tore my [right anterior cruciate ligament on April 1] last year because he had torn his previously. … I was just really close with him. He was amazing. I roomed with [senior attackman] Thomas DeNapoli, and I know some of the seniors, and I wanted to play well for them. I didn't want to be in the spotlight all year and be the deciding factor as to whether we were going to be good or not.
What did you learn from Wascavage?
He just taught me that I don't have to play outside of my role. He told me, "Play within yourself. You know you're a great goalie." … In the beginning of the year after we had lost to [Johns] Hopkins and Loyola, I texted him and I asked, "Do you have any advice for me to get things back on track?" He said, "This is what I would do." Ever since then, it's worked out great.
How did you tear your ACL?
It was in practice last year. We were doing a drill, and I caught it wrong and tore my ACL. [In the drill, one side was a man down with time winding down in regulation. The defense had to get the ball back from the other side to give the offense a chance to tie the score and send the game into overtime.]
Did you do anything to celebrate your year of recovery?
I didn't, but I told the coaches on that day that I didn't want to practice, because I didn't want to do that again. Coach just laughed it off. We all knew I was going to practice, but I haven't been doing that drill since I tore my ACL. We all just joke around that when's it time to do that drill, Tyler's not doing that drill.