Posted Aug 15, 2006 15:57:17
Three-way Battle for Goalie Heating Up
RUSTON, La. -- Louisiana Tech soccer coach Jennifer Burns has a problem that’s good to have. She has to choose which of three goal keepers will be her starter in 2006.
The Lady Techsters have three keepers on this year’s roster, and Burns said she would be at ease having any of them stopping shots for her team at this point.
“It’s pretty close,” Burns said. “We would feel comfortable with any one of them in goal. It could be we put a different one in for a different system.”
Sophomore Nicole Didier is the only keeper with collegiate experience, playing in six games last season and starting two. Burns said she likes the idea of playing Didier because of her experience from last season.
The other two goalies are freshmen Tara Gavlak and Jill Medigovich, each bringing their own strengths to the table.
Gavlak has a strong leg that would work well in a system weighted heavily toward the offense. Burns said Gavlak can stretch the field with punts and get the ball downfield jump starting the offensive push. Medigovich brings size. She stands 5-11 and with her long reach can pose problems for the opposition.
Tech assistant coach Rich Stoneman works with the goal tenders and said watching the trio work to earn the starting nod is like Ali, Frazier and Foreman getting in the ring at the same time.
“That’s what it is – a battle,” Stoneman said. “It’s like a three-way boxing match at the moment. It’s really fun to watch them fighting for it.”
Stoneman said Didier has set the tone during workouts for the keepers, and Gavlak and Medigovich both have responded and not missed a beat.
“Nicole, who came in as a walk-on last year and is on the roster, definitely has proven that she has the ability and work ethic to play at this level,” Stoneman said. “All three of them seem to be on equal pace right now, the next couple days will determine who gets it.”