Lacrosse goalie fills big shoes

Change can often make things uncomfortable. Most people enjoy consistency in their lives, having a routine and not having things come up unexpectedly.

This is arguably truer in sports, although in college sports change is inevitable as players graduate.

For the past three years Jason LaShomb had been the starting goalie for the men’s lacrosse team. LaShomb garnered many honors during this time, ranging from conference awards to All-American awards.

This made it difficult for any other goalie to dislodge LaShomb from his starting position.

That is exactly the difficult task 21-year-old junior Zachary Nash has encountered the last two years. Nash had to watch as LaShomb continued to play well and get more awards.

It would have been easy for a rivalry to spring up between the two as they were competing for one spot.

This, though, was not the case.

“I think we both pushed one another in practice to become better goalies, but never a rivalry,” LaShomb said.

Nash’s patience is now paying off as the junior has helped the No. 3 ranked Lakers to a perfect 4-0 record so far this season, after starting every game.

Nash embraces the challenge of replacing LaShomb.

“Replacing LaShomb comes with a good amount of pressure. I push myself each practice, and each game, to become more of a leader and prove that I am ready for the opportunity in front of me.”

LaShomb has every confidence that Nash will be able to continue the winning mentality.

“Zach is a very good fundamental stopper and will be able to accomplish a lot in his career. He has waited his time patiently, and now it’s time for him to step up. I wish him the best of luck,” LaShomb said.

Nash is certainly not taking anything for granted. Now he has the starting position. “There is good competition for the goalie position on this team. Each of us has our own unique style of playing goalie, and we all battled and pushed each other throughout fall-ball to prove ourselves.”

He has learned from his experience of being a back-up goalie, and he says that it was a humbling experience for him, although it was of course difficult to watch. The two years watching LaShomb play enabled him to learn from the high level of play he was watching.

“I had never been a back-up goalie throughout my lacrosse career. It helped me learn, and prepare more than ever for when it was my time to step in net” Nash said, who is a native of Rochester, N.Y.

Nash has made the most of his time in goal so far, impressing fellow teammate Kyle Plante in the recent 11-8 win against No. 6-ranked Dowling.

“After our game against Dowling, Zach proved he deserves to be there. He came up with some major saves that really kept us in the game. He wasn’t really tested in our first two games, but Dowling put some pressure on him, and he responded pretty strongly in goal,” Plante said.

These were saves that Plante and the rest of the team had been used to when LaShomb was in goal.

Plante had played with LaShomb and believes that Nash has stepped up so far, and made big saves like the team have been used to.
Nash hopes to continue this after a successful start.

“My hopes for the season are to win a national championship, have a very successful season for myself and to become more of a leader on the team,” Nash said.