In the net: How important is the goalie?

There are few positions in sports that can equal in importance to the position of goalie. From the outside looking in, the goalie has an easy job: Do not let the ball get past you and go into the net. But it’s difficult to grasp just how hard that task is until you are the one having to make the save.

This year’s women’s lacrosse team has two goalies: junior Claudia Coleates—a transfer from Division 1 Canisius College—and senior Laura Passamonte. Both see significant time in goal and have had great success this year. This success, however, does not come without some obstacles.

“For me, it is trying to be aware of everything that is going on, communicating all the time and being ready at all times for a shot,” Coleates said. “It is just a lot going on all at once.”

“The toughest part of being in goal is staying strong and not letting what has happened so far affect your playing,” Passamonte said. “You need to stay in the moment and prepare for the next shot whether the last one was a goal or a save.”

The hand-eye coordination that is required for this position is tremendous. Goalies have to constantly be locked in on the ball and need to keep track of it all over the field. They also need to be ready to save the ball in a split second to prevent a goal.

“There is a lot of pressure associated with being a goalie, but learning how to let that pressure go and focus is key to staying confident and being able to play your best,” Passamonte said. “Shots can happen at any time and come from anywhere, so staying on your toes is very important.”

With such a small ball, it can be easy to lose track of where it is. Communication is key for a goalie in order to let the defense know how they should cover the incoming attack. Like the old saying goes, “Offense wins games but defense wins championships.” That could not be truer for this Geneseo team.

“I think I feel the same amount of pressure as everyone else out there,” Coleates said. “If I miss a save, it could cost us the game but if an attacker misses a shot, a midfielder misses a draw, a defender misses a slide––it’s all really the same. Personally, for me in goal, I think the skills of being quick and a leader are very important.”

Without goalies, the game would be a lot less interesting. Goalies are the backbones of their teams and provide leadership and strength as the defensive anchors.

“As a senior looking back at the last four years, I can honestly say being a goalie on the women’s lacrosse team has been one of the best things about my time at Geneseo,” Passamonte said.

Coleates, Passamonte and the rest of the Knights will wrap up the regular season on Saturday April 25 at SUNY Oneonta at 12 p.m.