A Manheim Township freshman in 2019, Tyler Moritzen’s high school boys lacrosse career got off to a bumpy start when he was sidelined with an injury at the outset of the season.
But he bided his time and kept working, confident he’d earn his shot on the varsity field sooner or later. The opportunity came near the end of the regular season when he was inserted as the Blue Streaks’ goalkeeper at the start of the fourth quarter in a showdown at rival Hempfield. With 55 seconds left in a one-score game, Moritzen made a stop that essentially sealed an eventual 12-10 victory and the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section One crown.
The Streaks went on to reach the L-L tournament and District 3-3A championship games before bowing out in the first round of the state tournament.
The next August, when the 2019-20 academic year got underway, Moritzen hit the weight room before school three days a week. He’s since added about 20 pounds to his 5-foot, 11-inch frame.
“Last year I was probably around 180 pounds,” Moritzen said. “Now I’m about 200.”
He was aiming to build off his solid freshman campaign in what would have been his sophomore season in goal for the Blue Streaks this past spring. The COVID-19 pandemic instead led to the season being canceled.
“It was definitely hard,” Moritzen said. “Knowing that senior class, too, seeing how badly they wanted to play. How good we could’ve been...it really did suck. We don’t know what could have been.”
Moritzen also missed out on the many practices he would’ve had against his upperclassmen teammates.
“Those high-level shots from that senior class would’ve been awesome,” he said. “You don’t get that from summer ball, you get kids your same age.”
Like his peers, Moritzen had to wait until about mid-June for the club lacrosse season to get started, about a month delay due to the coronavirus. He’s since seen a ton of minutes in goal for the Philadelphia-based Class of 2022 NXT club team.
“I’ve done two showcases so far,” he said. “And then I’ll have another one Friday, and then I’ve got three tournaments so far with NXT. We have one Thursday and one Saturday and Sunday.”
Moritzen, after a successful two-day tryout in Philadelphia, was also recently selected to participate in the Class of 2022 Under Armour All-American Lacrosse Classic Underclass Tournament, slated for Aug. 8 in Baltimore, Maryland.
“I think of it as a good accomplishment,” Moritzen said. “It will help to get my name out there, which is awesome.”
College coaches are allowed to begin speaking with Class of 2022 players in September. It’s then Moritzen’s college recruitment will likely take off considering he's probably been on the radar of college coaches since he participated in the 2017 National Lacrosse Classic as a middle-schooler.
It’s why the Under Armour game will come with pressure to perform well.
But Moritzen prefers those types of situations.
“I’m a player where pressure makes me work harder,” he said. “And play better.”