Lynchburg, Va. -- A young Garrett Curran never thought of playing goalie for his lacrosse team.
As a Massachusetts teenager, he was much more interested in scoring goals than preventing them.
But in his junior year of high school, Curran's team found itself in need of a netminder, and he decided to step into the role.
Little did Curran know it would jumpstart his college recruiting process and eventually land Curran at Lynchburg College, where he went on to one of the finest goalkeeping careers in the storied history of Lynchburg men's lacrosse.
That career will earn its capstone Friday with Curran's induction into the Lynchburg Sports Hall of Fame along with the rest of the 2018 class. The Alumni Awards dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 in Burton Dining Hall, and alumni who wish to attend can register here.
The 2008 alumnus started in goal four years for the Hornets and earned, "every accolade you could get in the ODAC," Lynchburg men's lacrosse coach Steve Koudelka said.
Curran was the Old Dominion Athletic Conference's rookie of the year as a freshman in 2005. He earned All-ODAC honors three times in his career and was the league's player of the year, scholar-athlete of the year, and second-team All-American as a senior.
But despite all those awards, Curran never expected this honor.
"Shocked," Curran said, remembering the day he got the call that he was to be inducted. "I was actually surprised, because I was in a class of guys who did some pretty incredible things. I guess I didn't realize that I would even be considered for it."
But the numbers speak for themselves. Curran ranks fourth all-time in Lynchburg lore in saves (681) and seventh in save percentage (.589). No goalie since has bested those numbers, even though Lynchburg's program has been to seven NCAA Division III tournaments and won four ODAC titles since Curran's graduation.
"Garrett had the ability to change the game," Koudelka, a former goalie himself, said. "He could stop the ball; he could clear it in a lot of different ways; and then also he was a really dynamic leader on the field."
Curran exhibited those rare qualities as a freshman, which earned him the starting nod in his first college contest.
"He kind of stepped onto this campus with the attitude of, 'I'm going to be the starting goalie, and you guys are fighting for second-string,'" Koudelka recalled.
That attitude, along with several really talented teammates, translated to wins. Lynchburg went 55-16 overall and 19-3 in conference play over those four seasons. Curran and the defense allowed five or fewer goals in 23 of those games.
It wasn't the beginning of Lynchburg men's lacrosse's incredible run of 12 NCAA appearances in 19 seasons and seven ODAC championships in 15 years -- that began with the program's first NCAA appearance in 1999 -- but Curran's group raised the bar, Koudelka said. The inductee maintains that in the years since, those goals have been raised farther.
"I think the culture has shifted now to [the ODAC title] is a milestone," Curran said. "Now it's, 'Can we win the national championship?'"
And while the expectations have changed, Curran said the culture hasn't.
"We've never been the flashiest team, but we're definitely going to out-work you," he said. "And we're going to be more prepared."
After graduating with a degree in sport management in 2008, Curran remained with the Lynchburg program as a graduate assistant for two years while earning a master's in business administration from the College. And while he didn't make coaching a career, Koudelka said his mentee was an invaluable asset on the staff.
It's another reason Curran was the perfect candidate for the Lynchburg Sports Hall of Fame.
"He set really high expectations for himself," Koudelka said. "You don't get that honor without dreaming big things and wanting to be a part of bigger things. His attitude with that when he was a player was no different from when he was a coach."
Curran now lives in the New York City area, where he works for tech giant TEKsystems.
This is the first in a series of features on the 2018 Lynchburg Sports Hall of Fame Class, which will run Monday, Oct. 15-Friday, Oct. 19 in the week leading up to its induction.