A senior ready to step-up and fill the shoes of the ones before him.
By Mark Molz
A senior from Simi Valley, CA, Nick Lapinid is the starting goalie for a top tier Saint Mary’s squad.
Before his collegiate career, Lapinid was the starting goalie for Royal High School and played club soccer for the LA Galaxy Conejo Valley. Coming out of high-school, Lapinid was a late commit, receiving offers from SMC and from a Division II in Fresno Pacfiic University.
When asked why he ultimately chose Saint Mary’s, Lapinid stated, “there was more opportunity, I liked the area more than Fresno, and I wanted a good academic school.”
Since arriving in the fall of 2017, Lapinid has been patiently waiting for his opportunity to make his mark on the field. He took a redshirt year in his first season with the Gaels, and in both his sophomore and junior year he learned from then Saint Mary’s starting goalkeeper Remi Prieur, a goalie now in the minor league system of Major League Soccer.
Lapinid would make his first appearance on the field in his junior campaign, where he played 40 minutes against Portland, making three saves en route to a 5-1 victory over the Pilots.
“Watching guys like Remi play and the way he controls the game definitely would help me during practice.” Lapinid continued, “it was something I tried to model my game after so when it was my turn I was ready to play.”
His goals when arriving at Saint Mary’s were simple, “I just wanted to play and have fun,” Lapinid stated.
He appreciated learning from Remi because of the experience he had and the willingness he had to help Nick learn and give him advice during certain situations when he got in the game.
When reflecting on his career at Saint Mary’s thus far his favorite memory is winning the WCC championship in back-to-back years and making it to the sweet 16 in 2018, where they lost in a penalty shoot-out to a strong Stanford side.
“It was a really cool experience, the whole stadium was packed, filled with students and fans,” Lapinid stated. “It was awesome because we haven’t made it that far since 2011 and to be a part of that team was special.”
Now in his senior year, he is ready to play and lead the team to another WCC title much like his predecessors before him did. And when asked about this team compared to the previous years he has been here, he thinks this squad is ready to compete at the same level.
“We lost a lot of our goal scorers from the previous years, but a lot of the freshmen are stepping up and playing really well right now.”
In his first full year as the starting goalie for Saint Mary’s he has led the team to a 2-0 start while posting two clean sheets, with a total of eight saves across both matches.
Outside of the pitch, Lapinid plans to graduate with a BA in Allied Health Science, with aspirations to be a coach or physical therapist one day.
For more information on Nick Lapinid and the mens’ soccer team follow the links below: