General of the Week: Dylan Ritch, ’19

As the Washington and Lee soccer team makes its way up the national rankings, being currently ranked 13 by, Dylan Ritch continues to make a name for himself on the pitch. Ritch has scored or has had an assist in all but two games this year and leads the team in both categories. Last week, the North Carolina native found the net on both of his penalty kicks. The Phi sat down with Ritch to talk about his mindset during the game and his life off the field.

Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info.

Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info.

Ben Soullier

Phi: You’ve been on a scoring roll to start the season leading team with 6 goals. What has allowed you to find the back of the net so well?

DR: My team has put in a lot of hard work so far this season to develop a very fluid offensive style of quick passing and movement which is my favorite style of offense. Also, my teammates work incredibly hard to set up great opportunities for me and all I have to do is get into the right spot to finish up the play.

Phi: What goes through your head before and after a goal?

DR: Before a goal, nothing goes through my head. After all of the years of practicing you just end up playing on instinct. After a goal, I look for the teammate who gave me an assist and try to make sure he knows I appreciate his hard work. Then, I listen to the crowd cheer and realize just how much I love playing soccer.

Phi: Do you feel like you can turn up your play even more?

DR: I don’t think I am at 100% and I don’t think any of my teammates are either. We are going to be tough to handle when the whole team takes it up another notch.

Phi: Having already surpassed your goal total from last year, what has been the difference this year for you?

DR: I just focus on working hard and trying to be in the right spots for my teammates. Last year I was still getting used to playing center forward so I was not as connected with my teammates as I am this year. This year’s team is better than last year’s team, especially on the offensive side and we’ve been missing two key players in Viktor Dolberg and Will Hamryka so we are going to get even better.

Phi: Can you give me an idea of what your practice and pregame routines are like?

DR: I like getting out to practice an hour early to work on any part of my game that I feel needs improvement. Before games, I like to go up to the field 2 hours early and get some shots in. Then, I read my Bible after I get dressed until we leave the locker room for the game.

Phi: What is life like for you off the pitch? Do you have any hobbies?

DR: Life is still pretty soccer oriented as I love watching pro soccer games in my spare time, especially Manchester City, but I am involved in things other than soccer. I am a Young Life leader so I am a part of the leadership team at Rockbridge County High School, and I am a member of 24, Generals Leadership Academy.

Phi: Is there anything else you’d like our Phi read- ers to know about you or the team?

DR: This year’s team has the right attitude to win a lot and we want to represent for W&L. We need a lot of people to come out to the games because we thrive on having everyone’s support and hope- fully we’re fun to watch too.