Inside the Mind of a Goalie: Freshman Noah Amato Adjusts to Life as the JV Lacrosse Goalie

Julia Grenoble, Reporter

Standing all alone in the goal, trying not to let the entire team down. The goalie has a big responsibility, and can be nerve-racking for a new player.

Noah Amato, Hershey High School (HHS) freshman, is the junior varsity goalie for Hershey’s boys lacrosse team. He faces the struggles and hardships of defending the goal, while leading his players on the field.

Amato started playing lacrosse four years ago and originally started out as an attacker. However, he never thought about playing goalie.

When Amato was trying out for the lacrosse team this spring he noticed that there was not yet a goalie for junior varsity. After he made the team, his coaches talked to him about switching his position to a goalie.

“My coaches told me I was the best fit for the position and they asked me to try it, so I figured I would give it a shot,” said Amato.

A goalie for lacrosse has the main duty of keeping the opposing team from scoring. The goalie is the last line of defense, and is supposed to do everything in their power to prevent the ball from going into the net. Amato has taken advice from other goalies, and practiced his skills daily to be the best goalie he can be.

The hardest adjustment for Amato when he started playing goalie was simply the aggressiveness. He had gotten so used to being aggressive with other players to get the ball, and he had to adjust to the feeling of only going after it when he needed to.

Brock West, HHS freshman and teammate of Amato, said, “Noah picked up the new skill really quickly, which made it much easier on the rest of the team.”

The major difference for Amato was the mentality that comes with being a goalie. The goalie sees everything on the field, and has to be alert and ready for action at all times. Also, the idea of being alone in the goal is scary for many, especially when the opposing team is running at them.

Amato said his new position is easier than he originally thought, because the team has played exceptionally well on offense this season. The difficulty level of Amato’s job depends on how well the rest of the team plays that day, and who they are playing against.

“My team does such a good job of making my job easy, but I still have to stay aggressive and alert for every minute on the field,” said Amato.

Amato expressed how grateful he is for his teammates, and in some games he does not need to do much work at all. The goalie can almost always see all of the players across the field, which gives Amato an advantage. His teammates rely on him to lead them through the game, especially through defense.

Some disadvantages come with Amato’s responsibility, as well. When the team is playing very well, or the other team cannot keep up, Amato has to stay in the goal, alert, waiting for his skills to be needed. Another struggle he has is never knowing how he will play that day in the goal, because that type of anticipation and aggression to protect the goal is not something that can be practiced, unlike stickwork or speed.

“I was nervous to take on such a big role at the beginning of the season,” said Amato, “but I’ve learned a lot and I think it has made me a better player.”

Noah Amato runs the ball up field during a junior varsity lacrosse game. He has been playing lacrosse since age eleven. (Broadcaster/Julia Grenoble)
Noah Amato guards the goal during a high school lacrosse game. He has been playing goalie for his entire freshman season. (Broadcaster/Julia Grenoble)