Junior goalie Gus Gradinger anchors the third-ranked Chapman’s men’s lacrosse team’s defense. Gradinger has recorded 132 saves in 15 games this season with a goals against average of 5.27.
1. How old were you when you started playing lacrosse and why did you start?
I started playing my sophomore year of high school. I had played baseball my whole life, but tore a ligament in my elbow pitching so decided it was time for a change.
2. What motivates you to play your hardest?
My teammates are definitely my biggest motivation. I love the whole team and want to do everything I can to help us win.
3. What is your favorite aspect of playing lacrosse?
My favorite part of the sport is how creative it is. I feel like I see something I never have before every time we step on the field.
4. Do you have any pregame rituals?
I don’t really have any set in stone pregame rituals. I used to be much more superstitious, but now I just try to relax more before games.
5. What is your favorite part of being a member of men’s lacrosse at Chapman?
Again, my teammates. It’s a really tight-knit group that knows how to work and play hard.
6. What is a hobby of yours aside from lacrosse?
I love to read. I’ve been powering through the “A Song of Fire and Ice” (Game of Thrones) series.
7. Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Madison Bumgarner. He’s a quiet but powerful leader who plays his best on the biggest stage.
8. Do you have a favorite moment or memory from being on the Chapman men’s lacrosse team?
Beating Cal Poly (San Louis Obispo) in overtime this year was a blast. We came back from a three-goal deficit with three minutes left in the fourth quarter to force OT (overtime).
9. Do you plan on doing anything with lacrosse in the future?
I’m pretty sure I’ll play in a tournament or two every year, just for fun, but I definitely want to coach. It’s an amazing sport and tight community, and I’d love to give back to it.