The senior goalie allowed only one goal in Malvern Prep’s first three games, recording 22 saves and posting two shutouts. He made several game saving plays in each game to secure shutouts, and the only goal he gave up was off a deflected opportunity. Malvern Prep head coach Andrew Kummerer said, “He’s the vocal anchor of a strong defense.”
Q: As a goalie, does on-field communication with the defense play a big role in your success? Can you give us an example?
A: Most definitely, communication plays a huge role but the Malvern Prep defense is also stellar. Communication on corners and free kicks is most important, and nine times out of 10 when I set our team up they win the ball.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: Before each game, I tape my left wrist, and then I draw a cross on the front and write “G-mom” on the back. G-Mom is for my grand mom who I was very close to. She is no longer with us but I know she is with me during each game. I then kneel, say a prayer in front of the goal, and the game begins.
Q: Is there one save that you made this season (to date) that stands out in your memory? Can you describe how the play unfolded, and your role in it?
A: We were playing Friends’ Central on their home field, and the score was 0-0 in the second half. Their striker got a through ball on a fast break, took a shot in the bottom corner and I saved it wide. I thought this play sparked the team and we won, 2-0.
Q: Have you always played goalie? What sparked your original interest in the goalie position?
A: No, I started playing travel soccer for 99 Penn Fusion Elite team when I was 8 and at that time I was a defender. Around fifth grade, we were in a tournament and our goalie got hurt. Coach asked if I would go in goal, and that’s where my story began. I have been training as a goalkeeper since and I still play on the same travel team.
Q: What do you think is the strongest aspect of your game as a goalie?
A: Since at 5-feet-10 I am probably the smallest goalie in every game I play, my strongest aspect is my willingness to put my body on the line no matter what! I have also learned to explode off my line when needed.
Q: What part of your game are you working on the most currently?
A: I continue to work on my goal kicks and punts.
Q: Who have been your biggest mentors as a goalie, and what was the most important thing you learned from each one?
A: Matt Freese, former Episcopal Academy and 98 Penn Fusion Elite goalie has been my biggest peer mentor. Although friends, our conversations about soccer and Matt’s expertise in goal has helped me to improve my game. We train together when we can during the summer months. I will always be grateful to my club, Penn Fusion, and their coaches. My goalie coaches through the years have been coaches Dave Papalia, Tim Lucas, and Joe Weiss. They’ve taught me respect, skill, positioning and structure. Coaches Mark Thomas and Jamie Scott have been a big influence as well, along with Malvern Prep’s varsity soccer coach Andrew Kummerer. My parents have also been my biggest mentors for they have supported and encouraged me to work hard and stay focused. Malvern Prep’s Father Flynn has also been my biggest mentor. He reminds me that attitude is important; to stay positive and always play as a team.
Q: You wear No. 1 for both Malvern Prep and Penn Fusion. Why did you pick this number – was there a particular reason?
A: It’s a good number to have as a goalie and I’ve worn it most of my time in soccer.
Q: You’ve committed to the University of Scranton – what do you think you might like to major in? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: Currently I am interested in pursuing a career in business or law.
Q: Do you participate in any other extracurricular activities at Malvern Prep? What sparked your interest in each of these activities?
A: I participate in “Catholic Athletes for Christ;” a club which my “brothers” and I come together and talk about how God leads us in our athletic talents and how to use those talents on and off the field. I also participate in Liturgical Music. I joined these groups because my strong faith in God and they reflect the Augustinian values of truth, unity, and love.
Fun facts – Jake Hodlofski
Favorite book: The Great Gatsby.
Favorite TV show: The Office.
Favorite athlete: Neymar.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Silence, by Marshmallow.
Favorite team: Philadelphia Sixers.
Favorite place to visit: Ocean City, N.J.
Favorite pre-game meal: Chicken parm and pasta.
Favorite color: Blue.
Person I most admire: “A person I most admire is Father Flynn, our beloved priest at Malvern Prep. He is a constant reminder of Christ. I hope someday that I am half the man he is.”
Family members: parents Matt and Tina Hodlofski, sister Ashley (sophomore nursing major at Widener University), brother Luke (in fifth grade at Saints Peter and Paul School).
(In order to be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)