Asa Goldstock returns as SU’s starting goaltender after doubt-ridden season

first_img Comments When Syracuse’s season came to an end in double-overtime against Princeton in the NCAA tournament last year, starting goalkeeper Asa Goldstock was on the bench. She’d been pulled from the goal midway through the first half by SU head coach Gary Gait after stopping just four of the Tigers’ 11 shots.For the first time in her career, Goldstock became skeptical about her play. Previously the top-ranked goalie at Niskayuna (new york) high school’s class of 2016, Goldstock didn’t know how else to react, other than cheer for Hannah Van Middelem, who replaced her in net.“I’d never experienced that prior to coming to Syracuse,” Goldstock said. “I think I wish I did, so I’d have the better ability to deal with those emotions.”The junior started every game for the Orange last season but faced the pressure of knowing Gait had little patience for her letting up goals — she allowed 10 or more goals 11 times in 2018. Her ability to regroup and refocus wasn’t where it needed to be, and that affected her play. Since Syracuse’s loss to Princeton, Goldstock’s worked on her mental toughness through meditation, visualization and positivity. In practice, she worked with the attack, improved her agility and often met with defenders to improve SU’s defensive chemistry. Now, after a season in which she doubted herself for the first time, Goldstock is back in net as No. 11 Syracuse’s (2-0) starting goalie.“She’s playing outstanding right now,” Gait said. “She’s a very talented goalie and if she gets it all together mentally and physically she’ll be outstanding.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnna Henderson | Digital Design EditorGoldstock was benched in favor of then-freshman Van Middelem three weeks before watching SU’s season end from the sidelines. In the Orange’s 21-12 ACC tournament loss to North Carolina, Goldstock lasted just six minutes before Van Middelem took her spot.Goldstock cheered for her team when Van Middelem was inserted into the game, but the positivity lacked in terms of her thoughts about her own play. She’d immediately run to a coach or a fellow goalie and ask them what she specifically did wrong to earn a benching. Goldstock’s roommate, Julie Cross, gave the goalie reassurance in her game that Goldstock didn’t have in herself.“There was never any doubt in her game for me personally,” Cross said. “I think having that confidence and telling her how I feel about her playing and I think that definitely helps her boost her confidence on the field for the next game.”While some of her results during games didn’t match her expectations, Goldstock saw her failures as chances to improve. In practice during the season, she’d pull players aside to practice by letting them shoot on her.That continued into the summer, when Goldstock ran more to improve her short distance speed. Although she said she’s “not a big runner,” the additional training made her faster and allowed her to move with the ball quicker. Then, during fall ball, Goldstock “grinded” to leave no doubt in Gait’s mind that she should start in goal during SU’s first game against Connecticut.“I think sometimes a lot of players get complacent and I think that’s where it really hurts us,” Cross said. “(But) she would pick up her energy in practice and I think that led to the great games that she would have.”Her mental improvement was furthered when SU worked with a sports psychologist that focused on meditation. He showed them the proper way to meditate, which included visualizing positive events.Like most athletes, Goldstock always envisioned herself having success on the field. But last season, her positive attitude prior to games didn’t carry into games. After each goal that she allowed, the positivity would wear away.“I do a lot of visualizing before games,” Goldstock said. “It’s more just about being positive and staying positive when we’re going into a game, and in a game, if I get scored on.”On Friday during Syracuse’s season-opener, Goldstock listened to the final buzzer from the same place she ended last season: the sideline. But this time, it was because the junior gave up just four goals in over 48 minutes in a Syracuse blow out win.When she was replaced, instead of going off the field with her head down, Goldstock’s jog was full of energy. The first person she high-fived once she got back to the bench was Cross, who greeted Goldstock’s smile with one of her own.“I realized I only have two more seasons left, and I’m not gonna get these years back,” Goldstock said. “So there’s no point in dwelling on anything. I’m just excited to be positive out there…and positivity will hopefully lead to success.” Published on February 13, 2019 at 11:21 pm Contact Eric: [email protected] | @esblack34center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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