Jul 9, 2015

Tim Soudan TBT.jpg(July 9, 2015)… Tim Soudan’s lacrosse career has been well documented. From World Championships to National Lacrosse League titles, there is not much that “Soudo” did not accomplish as a player. 

The Fairport native was an original Knighthawk and was one of the early ambassadors of the sport in his hometown. Playing for the Knighthawks from 1995 until 2005, he dazzled the fans with his diving goals and gritty play. He was a key member of the team’s first championship team in 1997. Appropriately, he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Knighthawks Hall of Fame.

Since leaving the playing field, Soudan has not left the game behind. In fact, he is as busy as ever as a teacher and lacrosse coach. In the first of a series of Throwback Thursdays, “Soudo” looks back on his career and gives us an update on his life on and off the lacrosse field.

1) What was opening night like back in 1995?

Ah, opening night 1995! What a great feeling to be able to play in front of family and friends in such a unique building for the league at that time. The War Memorial was not only intimate, but really loud and the one end had the stage with some of the rowdiest fans Rochester ever had. (It was) just a great feeling. There was tons of excitement about the team and the atmosphere was electric!

2) How great was it to play for your hometown team?

Being able to play in my hometown was great and a great motivator for me to do my best and work really had. The Knighthawks coming to Rochester brought me back home and I couldn't be happier with the years I was able to play in such a great program in front of some of the most passionate fans ever put in one building. It was great to be able to move home around family and friends to play the game I love. In the first year, I met my wife and we have been together ever since. So in a way, I have the Knighthawks to thank for my wonderful family.

3) What was your greatest moment as a Knighthawk?

It is a tossup! I would have to say winning the championship in 1997. We finished the season at .500 and went into two hostile buildings, Philly with 18,000 people and then with Buffalo another 18,000, people, to take home the trophy. But I loved the home games and the atmosphere in that building, I truly loved playing at home!

4) Who had the greatest impact on your lacrosse career? 

Besides my parents’ unwavering support on many levels, it was my high school coach Randy Garrett and college coach Dick Garber. They were very similar men. They had a great competitive spirit with a great demeanor of respect and support. They put me in situations that helped me develop and challenged me by putting me in spots they knew I would thrive. 

5) You played with some lacrosse legends, who was your favorite teammate?

That one is so tough! So many great players! Regy Thorpe and I spent many years together and roomed together a lot. Schiller, Gait, Meagher, Emmick, Hollenbeck, Cougevan, Grant... the list goes on and on.

6) After you retired, you have remained close to the game. How much do enjoy coaching lacrosse and working with the next generation?

I tell you what, my life is very fulfilling right now. I coach at many levels from youth to professional (lacrosse), I get to teach PE in my hometown and I couldn't be happier. Lacrosse has given me many things in life: friends, education, great times and travel. But most importantly, it gave me the opportunity to go back to school and become a teacher and a coach. It was a great gift and I intend to pass it along.

7) What advice do you have for young lacrosse players?

My best advice to young athletes is to never ever let anyone out work you. If you love lacrosse, you must respect the game and the players you play against, but believe in yourself and play within the rules. Never get out worked and be prepared. I tried to estimate how many shots I took while practicing and it was most certainly in the range of a million. That work ethic and approach on the field made me a huge overachiever and a very lucky man to have been able to play lacrosse for 35 years, 11 of my best years for the K-Hawks.

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