Athlete of the Week: Matt Webster, Men’s Lacrosse



Athlete of the Week: Matt Webster, Men’s Lacrosse

Mike Keeley

Although a lot of sophomore Matt Webster’s time on campus might be spent studying upcoming matchups against opposing attackers, do not be surprised if in a few years he is more famous for his electrical engineering knowledge than his skills as a lacrosse defenseman. Especially passionate about the circuitry of electronics, it is easy to see how Webster’s strengths help him as a student and an athlete.

“The problem solving that is involved, I really enjoy that,” Webster said.

In addition to the rare achievement in itself of balancing the commitments of an engineering major with those of a Division I athlete, Webster also achieved a 4.0 GPA this past fall semester. He says the most important trait to balancing the two is a keen sense of time management.

“One thing my cousin taught me, is that you have to do what you’re doing 100 percent every time you do it,” he explained. “So if you want to get homework done, worry about homework.”

This strategy is obviously paying off for Webster, as earlier this month he made his first career start in a season-opening statement win at then #12 ranked Penn State. Webster says this win was especially important for the team because of how the team has not started its season with a win in five years. This is without even mentioning the fact that when NCAA tournament selection comes around in a couple months, a win against Penn State should be a great boost to the Wildcat’s resume.

“I think we have the potential to make it to the tournament and win the tournament,” he said. “We saw that against Penn State.”

As an all-state player in high school who was not recruited by any college teams, let alone a Division I squad like the Wildcats, Webster says that life as a former walk-on provides him with a constant source for motivation, even now. Webster actually arrived at the University his freshman year with no plans to pursue a spot on the team, but by the second week of school he realized he loved life as an athlete and lacrosse player too much. Although he says he tried out with plenty of other really talented players, at the end of three days of tryouts Webster was the only one called back.

“Every day after that, it was just “come back tomorrow, come back tomorrow,”” he said, “and that happened for two or three weeks where I was just on the edge.”

If you had asked Webster before he visited campus if he would consider attending the University, he would have shot you down with no hesitation. However, after he toured, the sense of community the school is famous for and its plentiful resources for aspiring engineers won him over pretty quickly.

As the men’s lacrosse season is brief, with just fourteen games with a conference schedule of only five games, consistency is key to achieving the team’s goals for this year. Webster stressed that because this is the reality the team cannot afford a lot of mistakes and that every game and practice is of chief importance. He contrasted lacrosse to basketball, explaining how there is no cushion from the schedule to allow losing a game that should be a win. Despite this concentrated importance of every team activity, Webster does not mind the brevity of the season.

“It’s a grind,” he said. “There’s always a point where you get tired.”

Since he visited the University for the first time in high school, the sense of community he first noticed has remained Webster’s favorite aspect of being a Wildcat. He especially values the fact that many of his friends here are not student athletes and the smaller community that forms around playing pickup basketball at Jake Nevin Field House.

Obviously someone who values having a strong connection with those around him, Webster, an avid Eagles fan, enjoys the sense of togetherness in “the City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia, especially in how everyone celebrated his Eagles’ first Super Bowl victory. Ironically enough, Webster gave a disclaimer that while he loves to watch all of Philadelphia’s major sports teams, he does not follow Major League Lacrosse’s Philadelphia Wings.

“Professional lacrosse,” he trailed off, “it’s not really worth doing.”

Outside of lacrosse, engineering, and pickup basketball, Webster lists Sudoku as one of his main extracurricular passions. Even in Sudoku, the confidence necessary to live the life of a student-athlete is obvious in Webster. When asked if he was good, his response was rapid.

“Yes, I would say I’m very good,” he said.

He continued on to say how he mainly focuses on the extreme difficulty puzzles and that his goal with each one is to finish it in under four minutes, showing that his aptitude for problem solving extends beyond mapping out circuitry in the engineering lab and foiling attacks on the lacrosse field.