Being patient has never been a problem for Connor Lambe.
Before taking center stage as the Santa Barbara High goalkeeper himself, he spent his first two years learning behind star keeper Ben Roach, who wound up at UC Santa Barbara.
Since taking over for Roach, however, Lambe has been nothing short of spectacular himself. This season, the Dons’ keeper led his team to the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Div. 1 postseason and had a slew of success with multiple clean sheets.
As a result, Lambe earned an All-CIF selection. Now, weeks later, he had made his decision on where he is going to continue his playing career — Oregon State.
“It’s a great feeling knowing that I have the next four years laid out with playing soccer,” Lambe told the News-Press over the phone.
“It’s something that I obviously wanted to continue through high school and after and Oregon State is a great school with great soccer so I can’t wait to get out there and start training.”
Lambe said he had suitors vying for his skills for quite a while, but the senior never felt pressured to make a decision right away.
For a while, Oregon State was not even on his radar, until the Dons visited Westlake High back on Dec. 16. Westlake’s coach had a relationship with Lambe’s father, and put them in touch with Bryan Hill, a respected goalkeeper coach in Thousand Oaks.
After a training session, Hill reached out to Terry Boss, Oregon State’s head coach, and told him about Lambe.
“After that, he left the rest to me and we talked and got to know each other a bit and it all worked out,” Lambe said.
“But, the coaches are great. I’ve been on a couple of zoom calls, face to face with them and they’re really great and they’re excited. And I know that they have my back which is really important. Having coaches that you know are going to care about you as a player and as a person is massive.”
Lambe has been unable to visit the campus due to the limitations set by the NCAA amidst the current pandemic, but said he is happy with his decision, even if it did take longer than other college recruits.
“I knew I needed to keep my patience and sure enough schools showed their interests late, Oregon State being one of them, and it all worked out,” Lambe said.
“I just knew I wanted to exercise all of my possible options.”
Lambe’s older brother, Owen, who currently plays at Cal State Fullerton, also played a big role in helping him make his choice.
Ultimately, Lambe hopes to make a difference for the Beavers and one day become a starter.
“My technical ability fits into their style of play really well so I think that’s a big plus for me and their current keeper is great so he is going to be crucial to me and my learning process and my development as a goalkeeper. When the time comes, I can push for a starting spot,” Lambe said.”
Lambe never expected to go outside California for his college, but said that staying along the West Coast is still a huge plus.
It also helps that he has some family in Oregon.
“My mom is from Oregon and her whole family is from there so there is a family connection and everyone was so happy for me,” Lambe said.
As the current pandemic wages on, Lambe said he is disappointed he won’t get to enjoy the end of his senior year of high school with events such as prom and even graduation, but added that he is just trying to stay in high spirits and remember life goes on.
To stay in shape, he is also getting help from his brother as he trains alongside him and his CSUF regiment.
“I just hop into some random bit of grass outside our house and do that with him,” Lambe said with a laugh.
“I just can’t wait to get onto the field again but I am making sure to keep myself in shape.”