Senior Zach Hoffman is currently playing in his final season for the Manhattanville men’s lacrosse team. He has been the starting goalie for the Valiants since 2015, when he was only sophomore year.
Hoffman’s love for lacrosse started later than most players. Prior to high school, he played baseball as his main sport. But baseball was not meant for Hoffman. His freshman year of high school at LaSalle Institute in Troy, NY, he made the decision to play lacrosse. At 14-years-old Hoffman was hooked.
“I was just naturally gifted [at lacrosse], and I loved every second of it,” said Hoffman.
As he progressed through high school he began watching college lacrosse. John Galloway, the Syracuse starting goalie at the time, was someone Hoffman was genuinely impressed with. From then on, his goal was to emulate the impressive play of Galloway.
As his search for college commenced, the choice to come to Manhattanville College became clear. He was recruited to Manhattanville by former head coach, Kevin Warnock, who envisioned that Hoffman was a 4-year starter for the program. Manhattanville appealed to Hoffman due to its location, lacrosse program, and the education offered. His goal then was to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. The school was a perfect fit for him.
During his sophomore year, his first season as the starting goalie, Hoffman started 14 of 14 games for the Valiants. He racked up a save percentage of .561 and record of 5-9. During the season, the Valiants were only able to muster up one conference win. However, one of the highlights of the season came in a marathon home game against DeSales University, Hoffman scraped together a whopping 23 saves in the game. The Valiants defeated DeSales in that game 8-7 in the 5-overtime period thriller. One of Hoffman’s good friends, then freshman, Christian Flores, netted the game winning goal. The opportunity was only granted to Flores due to the impeccable play of Hoffman.
“That was the greatest game of my life.” said Hoffman.
Hoffman looked to increase his save count and his save percentage throughout his career at Manhattanville. In 2016, he logged at .566 save percentage, 5 percent better than his sophomore year.
The Valiants have struggled as a team throughout his career as a Valiant. The team has yet to make the MAC Freedom Conference tournament each year. This did not deter him from sticking with the program.
“It has never been about the wins or the loses, I just love the group of guys we have had over the years, and it just made sense to stick with the guys and the program,” said Hoffman.
Despite the struggles of the program, Hoffman has earned “Conference Player of the Year” twice during his career. During his junior year, he was named to the 2nd Team All-Conference for the MAC Freedom Conference. He also was invited to play on the D-III USA men’s college lacrosse team. He travelled with the team to Germany where he competed at the Berlin Open. His team stormed through the tournament and eventually lost to the team from Latvia in the championship game.
Hoffman and the Valiants are currently on track to have their best season since he joined the program. They are currently 5-6 with three Conference games remaining. The team must win the remaining three games to stay in contention for the MAC Freedom playoffs.
Hoffman will graduate this spring with a degree in Business Management and a Sports Studies concentration. His family owns and operates “Hoffman Carwash,” with locations throughout the upstate area of New York. Hoffman will work for his family business after he graduates, and hopes to one day take over the company. Hoffman has truly enjoyed his four years at Manhattanville College and is grateful for the opportunities the college has offered him.