On today’s episode of the Lax Goalie Rat Podcast I’m joined by Duke Blue Devils starting goalie Will Helm.
Will is coming off a phenomenal 2023 season with the Blue Devils.
As a graduate student transfer from St. Lawrence University (SLU), Will took the reins as the starting goalie for Duke, showcasing his skills in all 19 games. He finished the season with a remarkable 10.97 goals-against average and an impressive .505 save percentage.
These statistics ranked him second in the ACC and 19th nationally in goals-against average. Notably, he recorded double-digit saves in 11 games, including a remarkable performance with 14 saves during the NCAA quarterfinal win over Michigan.
Helm’s exceptional performance also shone on the national stage, as he played a pivotal role in leading his team to the National Championship game. Unfortunately, the Blue Devils fell short against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Will’s 41 saves in the NCAA Tournament are the third most by a Duke goalie in program history. He also joined an elite group as the seventh Duke goalie to record double-digit saves in at least three NCAA Tournament games during his career.
Will Helm’s journey in goal began when he had the opportunity to step into the net during his team’s goalie rotation. He developed a passion for the position, but it wasn’t until high school that he started taking his goalie role seriously.
During his high school days, Will initially played as an attackman on the JV team. However, when the team’s goalie was sidelined due to injury, Helm stepped up and took on the goalie position, where he truly excelled. The following year, he secured a spot on the varsity team, motivating him to train rigorously to become a top-notch goalie and earn a college offer.
Initially committed to SLU, Helm’s relationship with the coach, who happened to be the son of one of Will’s childhood friends, played a pivotal role in his decision. He was drawn to SLU by the opportunity to develop this relationship and play during his junior and senior years.
During his two-year stint as a starter at SLU, Helm earned recognition as a USILA second-team All-American and the Liberty League Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2022.
Upon completing his degree at SLU and with some eligibility left, Will explored the transfer portal to seek opportunities with a Division I program. After reaching out to the Duke coaching staff and receiving an early response, he made the decision to commit to the Blue Devils.
Helm’s determination paid off, and he secured the starting goalie position at Duke, transitioning from Division III SLU to the top-tier competition.
While at Duke, Will had the privilege of working with one of the nation’s top goalie coaches, Alex Ready, a former Denver standout and presenter at Lacrosse Goalie Summit 6. Helm spoke about his valuable relationship with Coach Ready, who has helped him evolve his stance, technique, and mental game.
As Will gears up for his final year of eligibility at Duke, his sights are firmly set on leading his team back to the National Championship this year.
I hope you enjoy this episode with Will where we discuss topics like D1 vs D3, handling self-doubt and we even break down some of his saves from the National Championship in 2023!
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