This week’s Around the Crease is almost all about the goalies. Collegiate (Va.) senior Jack Rusbuldt and Conwell-Egan Catholic (Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania) senior, Antonio Whyte pass 1,000 career saves. St. Paul’s (Md.) junior sets a season record. Plus, New Jersey’s Jon Pierce and Joshua Murdy along with Pope (Ga.) senior Michael Oswald, Mount Greylock (Mass.) senior captain Cal Filson earn spots on the all-time saves list.
While LaxRecords.com was started as a place to house the history of boys’ high school lacrosse, there are a lot of performances that do not make the lists. But those performances deserved to be highlighted.
Each Monday, I’ll highlight players, teams, coaches and games that caught my attention.
I cannot remember a week in which so much news about the last line of defense rolled onto my desk, but this week’s Around the Crease truly deals with the crease.
One Thousand and Counting
Collegiate (Richmond, Virginia) goalie Jack Rusbuldt surpassed 1,000 career saves with a 12 save game against Bishop O’Connell (Virginia) on Saturday. Rusbuldt’s performance came in the first round of the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Association (VISAA) tournament.
The Penn State commit already had the school record for career saves, passing Bud Petit who had 833 career saves from 2000 to 2003. As a freshman, Rusbuldt made 216 saves and followed that up with a 272 save season as a sophomore. He made 262 last season, helping the Cougars to a 22-1 record.
Key Stops in the Keystone State
Conwell-Egan Catholic (Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania) senior, Antonio Whyte, recorded his 1,000 career save last week and now has 1,014 with one game left in his senior year. The Misericordia commit earned the starting spot six games into his freshman year and has played every game since.
Whyte, along with Rusbuldt, are just the ninth and 10th goalies known to have passed 1,000 career saves.
Save Leader In the Garden State
Red Bank Regional (Little Silver, New Jersey) senior, Jon Pierce, is among the best save leaders in the Garden State’s history. The Susquehanna commit has 989 career saves, which currently places him No. 1 for confirmed performances*. Pierce had five games this season in which he made at least 20 saves, including a season-high 23 against Middletown North (Middletown, New Jersey) on May 9.
Pierce had a career high 342 saves as a junior and has 292 this season. As a freshman, Pierce made 104 saves and followed it up with a 251 saves sophomore season.
*Editor’s Note: It was brought to my attention that another New Jersey goalie may have broken the state record earlier this month, but efforts to confirm have not been successful as of this post.
Moorestown Friends (Moorestown, New Jersey) senior, Joshua Murdy, set the Foxes program record in an 8-7 win over Lower Cape May (Cape May, New Jersey) on May 12. Murdy made 15 saves in the game to give him 513 for his career. Murdy has been on the varsity team since his freshman year and been the full-time starter since his junior season.
The senior has 192 saves this season and made 204 as a junior. Earlier this year, Murdy made a season-high 32 saves against Northern Burlington (Columbus, Ohio).
Joining the Legacy
St. Paul’s (Brooklandville, Md.) goalie, Alex Rode, set the Crusaders single-season record for most saves in a career with 258.
And he still has one season left.
Rode committed to Virginia as a freshman and is considered one of the best goalies in the 2017 class.
The junior joins a storied tradition of St. Paul’s netminders, including Edgar Boyd, Les Matthews, Bob Clements, Peter Sheehan, Scott Bacigalupo, Gunnar Waldt, and AJ Barretto (who broke the school all-time record last season). Bacigalupo was a three-time First Team All-American at Princeton and won two NCAA titles.
Rode has 291 career saves. The all-time leader at St. Paul’s is AJ Barretto who finished his career in 2015 with 569 saves.
Mount Greylock (Williamstown, Massachusetts) senior captain goalie Cal Filson made his 500th career save against Burr-Burton Academy (Manchester, Vermont) on May 11. The Oberlin College commit is now at 509 for his career with four games left in the regular season. The Mounties are 13-0 this season.
Heading south down I-95
Pope (Marietta, Georgia) senior, Michael Oswald, finished his career with 540 career saves. Oswald started between the pipes as a sophomore in 2014 and posted a 58 percent save ratio in his three seasons. He was chosen as a Georgia All-American in Class 6A this year and was part of the epic 8 overtime game against Lassiter (Georgia) on April 22, in which he made 25 saves.
Arnold Starts It All
Lambert (Suwanee, Georgia) just capped a perfect, 21-0 season, with the Georgia Class 6A championship and Trey Arnold is the man who started it all for the Longhorns for the last three seasons.
Arnold completed his high school career with 667 Varsity face-off wins, which includes four school records: most face-off wins in a season and a career and most ground balls in a season and a career. The All-American had 360 ground balls in addition to 38 goals and 11 assists in his career.
“This is the group I’ve been playing with since we were in 7th grade,” Arnold said. “It’s a nice end to a fun journey. After knowing losing [in the playoffs] two times in a row, this year just felt right.”
Arnold has been on the varsity since his freshman year and while he did not start initially, he did learn. And when the senior in front of him got injured before the playoffs, Arnold stepped in and has been the starter ever since.
“At first it was, ‘you’re here on varsity, congrats’. As a sophomore I became the guy. I had to mature real fast, which has helped me in the long run.” Arnold said. “I’ve gained confidence. As a freshman I didn’t want to get killed. Now I go in thinking I’m going to win this face-off and push the pace. The mental side of face-off I figured out with the help of coaches over the years.”
This season, the Robert Morris commit won 282 face-offs and at one point had a streak of 46 consecutive wins.
“I’m excited to compete at a whole new level,” Arnold said of playing in college. “I get to see where I stand in the college ranks and go against the best of the best.”