Friday's edition of The Sun included an article on Loyola junior Jake Hagelin, who is just one of two Division I goalkeepers to rank in the top five in the country in both save percentage and goals-against average.
Hagelin's journey to the Greyhounds was somewhat atypical. Despite boasting a 54-4 record as a starter for the Boys' Latin junior-varsity squad as a freshman and the varsity team for his final three years, Hagelin was not heavily recruited by a Division I school.
"I was actually going to do a prep year," said Hagelin, who did not want to follow his older brother Adam to Towson. "I looked there, but I didn't really want to go to Towson. I wanted to make a name for myself, I guess."
It just so happened that towards the end of the spring of 2007, Loyola was losing a goalie as Joe Marra transferred to Fairfield.
"It was a win-win situation for certainly Joe Marra and for Loyola University and for Jake," Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey said. "He came in and started as a freshman for us, and by his own admission, he probably had a little bit of a down year during his sophomore year, but this is the Jake we know."
Hagelin has had to hold off fifth-year senior Alex Peaty for starting goaltending duties, but Hagelin said their relationship is not adversarial.
"I've always wanted to be the full-time goalie, but if he went in, I was prepared to back him up," he said. "And he's always prepared to play, too, if anything happens to me. We support each other, and I'd be willing to play his role if that happened."
Toomey, who praised Hagelin's calm demeanor, said his goalie has a playful side. After every practice, Hagelin will spice up ball-collecting responsibilities by trying to roll a ball or two toward a coach and hit him in the foot or leg.
"He can be all the way over there picking balls up and you'll be talking to another coach and you'll just get hit with a ball in the leg," Toomey said. "Then you just look across the field and he'll do one of these [Toomey mimics a fist pump]. That's the kind of kid he is. He is a happy-go-lucky kid."
Hagelin did differ with his coach on one aspect of that yarn. He said he has never aimed at Toomey – at least not intentionally. "If I did, it was probably because of a dare," Hagelin said with a grin.