By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 9/30/09
Haverford School junior goalie Conor Kelly has made a verbal commitment to play Division I lacrosse at the University of Notre Dame.
Kelly became the second junior member of the Fords to commit to a Division I college today. Earlier, midfielder Matt Walters committed to Syracuse, and last week midfielder Carl Walrath committed to Virginia.
Kelly served as a backup to two-time All-American goalie Dan Wigrizer (now at Duke) last year for the Fords, who tied for the Inter-Ac League championship with Malvern Prep and won the league’s first championship tournament.
Kelly chose Notre Dame over Penn, Villanova and Harvard.
During the summer, Kelly excelled for the Duke’s Lacrosse Club and Haverford School’s summer team. He helped the Duke’s win the tournament crown at Champ Camp.He also had strong showings for Haverford at UMBC and at the Hero Tournament.
“Notre Dame has always been the place I wanted to go since I was younger,” Kelly said. “Lacrosse has let me explore that option. They have a great tradition of goalies and big time sports. They also (offer) a great education.”
Kelly said he plans to major in business.
“They have a sense of community,” he said. “They also have great alumni. You really feel like a part of something when you’re there. They also have a great business school.”
Kelly felt he blossomed during the summer when he got to play against top competition.
“I really had my season during the summer,” Kelly said. “And I have been working hard this fall, lifting and getting shots to get even more prepared.”
Kelly said playing behind a talent like Wigrizer was a perfect model. “He taught me a lot while under him,” he said. “Just being able to watch him and study what he does and what he’s successful at will help me.”
What are his biggest strengths?
“Probably communicating to the defense and clearing the ball and getting the transition offense going,” he said.
Kelly will be expected to fill a huge role next spring when the Fords enter the year as a team with high expectations.
“We definitely have a lot of talent and a lot of high expectations for ourselves and from other people,” he said. “It’s going to be fun.”