As the starting goalkeeper for Santa Barbara High’s boys soccer team for the last two seasons, Connor Lambe won 37 games, posted 16 shutouts, won back-to-back Channel League championships and helped the Dons advance to the CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinals this past season.
Lambe will now take his game to the NCAA Division 1 level, as he signed a letter of intent with Oregon State.
“Oregon State is truly getting an incredible competitor in Connor,” said Santa Barbara coach Todd Heil. “I’m so proud of his growth over these past four years at Santa Barbara High and his commitment to constantly improve himself each day.”
Lambe is looking forward to playing at the D1 level.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to train at such a high level and in an intense environment,” he said. “I think it will show in a few years how crucial that is to my development as a young goalkeeper.”
He said the Beavers play a style where they utilize the goalkeeper to build their attack out of the back.
Oregon State coach Terry Boss was a goalkeeper at Tulsa Univesity and played in the 2003 and 2004 NCAA Tournaments.
Lambe likes the culture Boss has created in Corvallis.
“The coaching staff have stressed to me how much of a family the team is, which is awesome to know that I will be a part of a group like that,” said Lambe. “Off the field, I know it’s a place where the coaches will have my back, which is one of the best things you could ask for in college soccer and in any team.”
Lambe becomes the second Santa Barbara High goalkeeper to sign with a Division 1 program in three years, following Ben Roach, who has started between the posts at UCSB in his first two seasons
“I would say the season behind Ben was the best I’ve had in terms of development,” Lambe said. “Just by observing him in games and training, I picked up on a lot of his goalkeeping style. Of course, it’s inspiring to see another goalkeeper come through Santa Barbara Soccer Club and SBHS and reach the level which he has.”
Heil said Oregon State is getting a skillful and hard-working goalkeeper.
“Not too many keepers put in just as much work with their feet and their technique as they do their hands as Connor does,” said Heil. “In a program that prides itself on the technical side of the game, Connor was arguably one of more technical players. He trains just as hard as he plays in games and this work ethic is what will help him stand out at the NCAA Division 1 level.”