Athlete of the Week: Will Rickards ’21 “Is Always a Brick Wall in Net”

The starting goalie for Andover Boys Lacrosse, Will Rickards ’21, has been a dependable force in net for Andover, according to Jed Heald ’20.
“Will is always a brick wall in net, makes all of the easy saves, a good chunk of the hard ones, and some saves that seem almost impossible to stop. Rickards is a fantastic human being, on and off of the field. He has been lights out in our first few games and it will definitely be exciting to see him grow, as he is only in his sophomore year here,” said Heald.
Rickards’ consistency has earned him The Phillipian’s accolade of Athlete of the Week.

How long have you been playing lacrosse?

I’ve been playing lacrosse since I was 7 years old. When I was 7, I played on a team just through town, and I would play player or goalie… I wouldn’t just play goalie. By the time I was 10, I wouldn’t play as a field player at all. I started playing club lacrosse when I was 12 and have continued to play club.

How did you get your start on Andover Boys Varsity Lacrosse?

Last year there was a Senior, Eugene Yoon ’18, who started for goalie. There were a couple of games where I started a half and then one game where I started last year.

What has been the hardest experience for you as a goalie on the field?

It’s a big mental game. For a player it’s kind of more physical, you can physically step up. But as a goalie, you can’t psych yourself out. If you let a shot in, you have to have a short memory. You have to keep playing.

Is it tough to keep up your mindset when teams score a lot on you? How do you help yourself stay in the game?

It will mess with me for sure. I try to just breathe. I try not to think about it and just worry about the next play– I reset the game in my mind. I can always depend on Mark Witt [’20] or Mike Traccana [’20]. They’re just both always dependable on [defense]. All of the defensemen, Jed [ Heald ’20] too, they’re all really good.

What was one game that you feel like you played your best in?

In the Hotchkiss game, I think I played pretty well. That was the first game this year… In the Hotchkiss game, I had one save from an attacker right on the crease. I stopped the shot there.

What was a low point in a game and how did you recover from it?

The past two games we lost in overtime, definitely some pretty low points. But, in both those games, we started the first quarter down by at least 2 goals, and so I think it shows a little bit that we were able to come back.

Thoughts on having a younger team?

It’s nice to have a young team to grow. It’s nice because it will help build the program as well. If there are a lot of young kids, they’ll get to know the coach and the players and just get better each year.

How is it now being the starting goalie instead of the second string?

It’s a lot more pressure because, most games, I used to go into them thinking that I probably wouldn’t play. There was a goalie that was good and a Senior. It’s just a lot more pressure.

Any lacrosse teams you follow?

Just college lacrosse in general, not any team specific. And then my brother goes to Colby which is Division III, and he plays lacrosse there. He is not a goalie, he plays attack.

If you were play a field position, what would it be?

I used to play midi [midfield] pretty sure, it was so long ago. We would just rotate positions, I don’t know if I would ever really want to play out on the field. If I had to, I would play attack, just because it’s the least amount of running. But I definitely want to keep playing goalie – I don’t want to switch positions.