SEDGWICK/DEER ISLE—Deer Isle-Stonington High School 2014 graduate and current Southern Maine Community College goalkeeper Patrick Duddy of Sedgwick was selected as a United States Collegiate Athletic Association Second Team All American for his play during the 2016 season. This season was the first time Duddy had ever strapped on the goalie gloves and took the field between the posts.
“No one wanted to play goalie [this season]. So one day I just volunteered to jump in goal and it stuck from there,” Duddy said in a recent email.
In high school, Duddy was a two-time All State player at the striker position, used to leading his team’s offense. He stayed in that position during his first two seasons at SMCC as a starter. When it came time for his first game in goal, though, Duddy said he started feeling the nerves.
“I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t nervous that first match,” he said. “But I had a great team around me and especially my defense who made my job relatively easy.”
The transition from offense to defense is a difficult one for any soccer player, but Duddy said his transition was easier than he was expecting.
“Being a striker throughout my soccer career, I had a bit of an inclination of what someone with the ball might do and where they might be aiming. A fair bit of luck helped, too,” he said.
Duddy is no stranger to transitions on the soccer field, as the junior had to transition from a Class D school to a college team competing at the national level. Though that transition might have made some players wary, Duddy was fortunate enough to have had a stepping stone between the two in the form of the Seacoast United Black Bear club team.
“There aren’t really a lot of similarities between Class D soccer and college,” he said. “During high school I played for a club team for two years, which was a huge jump from the high school level. I had the privilege of playing with some of the best players in all classes at a higher level of play. It greatly helped with the transition from high school soccer to college soccer.”
Now three years into his college soccer career, Duddy said that the All American award is a testament to the hard work and dedication he has put into the sport throughout the years.
“It has been a long and hard season and I am so proud of everyone on the team,” said Duddy. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, especially my defense, who did an amazing job throughout the season and saved my butt on a number of occasions.”
Ever the competitor, though, Duddy noted that there was one thing missing from an otherwise successful season.
“I am very happy and grateful that I have been awarded this honor; the only thing that would have made it better was to win the conference championship instead of being runners up,” he said.
Duddy led the Yankee Small College Conference and ranked third in the nation with a .866 save percentage. He also led the conference in saves with 110, a goals-against average of 1.26 and allowed 17 goals in 13 games played.