West York's Rodriguez commits to Loyola
There's a play that West York junior Eddy Rodriguez made last season that still gets his soccer coach Brent Duffy excited just talking about.
"It was a simple pass that will never show up in a stat sheet or score book," Duffy starts recollecting.
Rodriguez hit a pass with the outside of his right foot that bent right into a teammate's run down the field on his right side.
"I still think about it," Duffy laughs. "No one else saw the pass opportunity even there and very few could execute it. Just the fact that he saw it and hit it shows you his vision and the comfort he has with the ball at his feet."
The extraordinary pass was just one example of how Rodriguez — who led the Bulldogs in goals (10), assists (9) and shots on goal (16) last season — has grown as a player.
And soccer coaches and scouts have taken notice, evidenced by the interest he received from Division I programs like Georgetown, UMBC and Loyola (Md.) among others. Earlier this week Rodriguez made his decision, announcing his commitment to Loyola University.
"When I visited, it was a wonderful school," Rodriguez said. "There wasn't one thing I didn't like. I had a couple other schools that I was talking to before Loyola...I wouldn't say the (recruiting) process was stressful, but it had my mind going in different directions."
Rodriguez will trade in one canine mascot for another when he dons the Greyhounds' green and white in 2018. Loyola won the NCAA Division II title in 1976 before ascending into Division I in 1982. They've been nationally ranked several times over the years, but struggled last season, finishing 2-13-2.
"I'm not surprised at all (that) he's going to a quality program," Duffy said. "He's a type of guy who will grow. He hasn't peaked yet. He still has a long way to go and being around players at his ability will help push him."
Rodriguez can play any position on the field and even made some saves in net during one practice last year, Duffy joked. His versatility could help make him successful at the next level where he will most likely play center back or center defensive midfield. He was chosen by coaches as an All-Division II first-team player last season and served on the Bulldogs' 'Leadership Core.'
"Of all the student athletes who could be divas or big-time around here, he's one kid who actually would have a legitimate reason to be that way but he couldn't be further from that," Duffy said. "He never tries to big-time anyone. The guys love him. He's a fantastic kid and he deserves this."