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Duke freshman goalie Wigrizer (Haverford School) savors victorious debut before 7,000 fans in Georgia

Sunday, 14th February 2010

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 2/14/10, Updated 2/15/10

For as long as he has been playing goalie, Dan Wigrizer has had this dream of performing his best in front on a large crowd on a Division I college stage.

Yesterday, his dream became reality.

In front of a throng of 7,000 people at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga, some 20 minutes from Atlanta, the Duke freshman from Haverford School made a most remarkable debut as the goalie for the No. 2 ranked team in the nation.

Wigrizer made a number of key saves (17 in all) and helped the Blue Devils rally for a 12-11 overtime win over No. 19 Bucknell. The Devils overcame an early five-goal deficit and won it when Zach Howell scored on a fastbreak 15 seconds into overtime.

After the game, Howell gave the game-ball to Dan Wigrizer, who had learned only 2 and a half hours prior to game time that he was going to be the starter.

“Ever since I started playing goalie I have wanted to play at the highest of college levels in front of a lot of fans,” said Wigrizer, a two-time scholastic All-American.

“Confidence-wise, this game couldn’t have gone any better. I don’t know how many saves I made, but I took so many shots. After the game, Zach came up to me and said, ‘This is yours, you deserve it. It’s your first one.’”

Because of the snow that blanketed the East Coast, Duke and Bucknell were unable to send any sports information personnel, so official statistics were not released until the game films were broken down Monday. Wigrizer had estimated he saved more than 15 Bison shots; and in fact he saw 40 shots.

Wigrizer, who had been waged in a battle for the starting spot with Sean Brady during the ball, was expected to be the starter when Brady was declared ineligible due to academic problems 16 days earlier. But Wigrizer was recovering from a bout with mononucleosis and just recently regained his health.

“About 10 minutes before we got on the bus to go to the field one of the coaches (goalie coach Pat DeBolt) texted me to come talk to him,” said Wigrizer, explaining how he found out he was going to start. “He told me that the seniors and coaches decided I should start and that I just needed to keep my composure and my cool.

“To be honest, I felt like I would keep my composure. I was a little nervous, but I knew I had the best defense in front of me and I knew what I had to do. We were playing absolutely terribly in the beginning. No one was doing what they were taught to do during the week.

“But then we settled down and started guarding the crease. We only allowed three goals in the second half; we let in three goals in the first three-and-a-half minutes of the game!”

Duke trailed the entire game and was down, 11-9, with just over five minutes to play. But the Devils tied it on a goal by Will McKee with several minutes left in regulation.

“There is no better feeling than getting your jersey and seeing your name on the back,” Wigrizer said. “This is what I have been looking for years. Hopefully, it turns out the way I wanted.”

Duke senior Ned Crotty led all scorers with one goal and five assists, while both Howell and senior Max Quinzani tallied four scores.



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