On today’s episode of the Lax Goalie Rat Podcast, I sit down and chat with Villanova Wildcats goalie Will Vitton!
Will recently wrapped up his college career with the Wildcats, leaving a legacy as the all-time leader in wins with 36 and 660 career saves. He broke the program’s all-time wins record during a game against Providence on April 15.
Hailing from Summit, NJ, Will started as a freshman and held onto the starting role for all five of his years at Villanova.
Throughout his time with the Wildcats, he earned numerous accolades, including being named a three-time All-Big East selection, Big East Championship All-Tournament Team member, a nine-time Big East weekly honoree, and a two-time selection to the USILA Team of the Week.
In the 2023 season, Will showcased his skills with a 10.43 goals-against average, a .502 save percentage, and an average of 10.3 saves per game.
He recorded 10+ saves in a game nine times out of 14 outings, including a season-high 18 against Penn State and 14 in the Providence game where he set the career wins record. His impressive performance earned him a spot on the All-Big East second team in 2023.
Will has a unique stance that deviates from conventional goalie coaching.
He uses a wide-based stance and his hand positioning that doesn’t follow the conventions of what most goalie coaches teach today.
We discuss his stance and technique on the Lax Goalie Rat podcast, diving into his thought process and approach to the game.
Will’s journey as a goalie began in the 5th grade when the team’s goalie didn’t show up for practice. He stepped in out of curiosity, and after playing well in a tournament the next day, his teammates encouraged him to continue pursuing the position.
For the next two years, Will played midfield in the first half and goalie in the second. However, he eventually decided to become a full-time goalie after falling in love with the position. Playing midfield was enjoyable for him because it gave him the opportunity to score.
Growing up, Will was also an avid hockey player, and the quick thinking required in hockey helped him develop his ability to process the game and enhance his hand speed in goal. Playing another sport provided a refreshing break and allowed him to have fun.
Throughout his development as a goalie, Will attended several goalie camps and learned from various coaches. He picked up different aspects from each coach while remaining true to his own style of play. While he recognizes the importance of understanding certain fundamentals, he believes that players should stick with their preferred style.
As a young goalie, Will admired players like Niko Amato and the Notre Dame goalies, including Shane Doss. Nowadays, he enjoys watching Drew Adams and Kyle Bernlohr, incorporating elements from their games to further enhance his skills.
Will chose to play for Villanova due to its proximity to home, the familiarity of faces on campus, and the coaching staff’s support and vision for the team, as well as his role with the Wildcats.
His journey as the record-breaking goalie at Villanova is an inspiring one, and we’re thrilled to have him share his experiences on the Lax Goalie Rat podcast!
Lacrosse is my passion! The game has given me so much and this blog is my way of giving back to the lax community. Specifically the most bad a$$ part of that community - the goalies! After learning to play goalie from scratch, I wanted to create a site where I could share what I learned with others so they too can become champions in the crease and in life. Learn more about Coach Damon.
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