Asa Goldstock’s aggressiveness isn’t working in her freshman year
Ally Moreo | Photo Editor
Syracuse goalkeeper Asa Goldstock has a problem. Opponents are taking her supposed strength and turning it into a weakness. Throughout her lacrosse career, Goldstock came out of the net more than other goalies do. But through seven games, college offenses have exposed her.
“I’m a lot more active and more athletic than other goalies,” the freshman said. “I don’t really sit tight. I play more as another defender.”
That’s left the goal empty, at times. In several games this season, she tried to jump out and intercept the ball. Other times, she ran the ball out to midfield, hesitated and threw the ball away. It happened in the season opener, then against Binghamton, then against Albany — when her flub almost cost SU the game — and last week against Virginia. SU head coach Gary Gait pulled her before halftime against UVA. (She reentered less than two minutes later).
Goldstock’s tendency to come out of the net helped make her the No. 3 recruit in the country. But through seven games, No. 4 Syracuse’s (7-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) play in goal has kept lesser teams in games longer than they should. Through seven games, Goldstock leads the team with 12 turnovers.
The Niskayuna, New York, native didn’t start her career in net. Her lacrosse journey originated on attack with boys teams. Her cousin asked her to play goalie and she hasn’t left the spot since. She hasn’t lost the aggressiveness that came with playing attack. On club teams, Goldstock broke the seal of her crease and pressured opposing attacks. When Goldstock’s aggressive style of play worked, she began to push farther and farther out, her mother Tiffany Moore said.
Before the season, Goldstock said that in practice her strategy had worked. Junior attack Riley Donahue, who ranks second on the team in goals (13), said the freshman’s aggressiveness frustrates her. When the season started, Goldstock stumbled.
In the second half against Binghamton, Goldstock sprung from her crease and intercepted a pass. As she looked around for an outlet, a Bearcats attack knocked the ball from her stick and gained possession.
Teams invite Goldstock to come out of the net with the ball. Against Virginia, the freshman made a stop and immediately looked for a teammate but found none open. The Cavaliers matched up on every SU defender and midfielder, forcing Goldstock to take the ball up the field, more than 50 yards from her crease.
When Goldstock’s feet crossed midfield, Gait yelled. As the shot clock ticked down in what was a close game, Gait called for her to pass the ball. Flustered, Goldstock flung a pass over the head of Kathy Rudkin and UVA regained possession.
Goldstock saves 50.5 percent of shots faced, good for 16th in the country. She said she believes she has quickly adapted to the increased velocity of shots hurled at her by collegiate attackers and midfielders.
Against Virginia, the Orange trailed 11-2 in the first half. Goldstock posted her worst save-percentage of the season (.317), but SU mounted a furious comeback to win. Asked why he took Goldstock out of the game and put her back in net just a minute later, Gait chuckled and sarcastically asked why he waited so long.
Published on March 7, 2017 at 11:14 pm