2017 VSN BOYS’ LACROSSE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

ALEX RODE, ST. PAUL’S SCHOOL

Rode cemented his standing as the nation’s best goalie this spring. The senior is Varsity Sports Network’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Rode stopped 166 shots for the sixth-ranked Crusaders, who reached the MIAA A Conference quarterfinals. He was the conduit for a St. Paul’s defensive unit that featured a new starting longstick crew.
“The last two years, he really directed the defense in a clear and controlling way. He commands respect and the kids really played hard for him,” said Crusaders coach Rick Brocato. “We’re prboably not in the playoffs without Alex Rode.”
Brocato said St. Paul’s improved “10 to 15-percent” in clears this season because of Rode’s improved decision-making. Last spring, Rode set the school single-season record with 258 saves.
“You want to help the team as much as possible,” said Rode. “You’re going to make mistakes, but there’s always another play.”
Rode, the lone area representative for next month’s Under Armour All-American game at Towson University, finished with 424 career saves (third in school history). He’s the second Crusader to win VSN’s Defensive Player of Year honors, following AJ Barretto (Army), who was the nation’s top senior goalie in 2015.
A two-time All-MIAA A Conference pick, Rode captured the Cyrus Horine Award as the league’s best goalie and the Wynn Award as the state’s top goalie this spring. He will play for the University of Virginia next spring.