Goalie Spotlight: Liz Hogan, Boston Storm

This goalie spotlight we're taking it to the next level to bring you tips from a pro. Liz Hogan is a member of the UWLX Boston Storm, but prior to the pros was a member of Team USA, and had an outstanding career at Syracuse where she was named 2010 IWLCA Goalkeeper of the Year, 2010 IWLCA All-American, 4x All-Big East First Team Member, and ended her career as Syracuse's all-time leader in saves (660) and ground balls (181). Read more to learn from Liz!

  1. How long have you been playing goalie/lacrosse? I started playing lacrosse in 2nd grade, but it was boys lacrosse. I took a little break from 7-8th grade, finally picking up goalie in girls' lacrosse my freshman year. Never looked back. I guess that makes it about 20 or so years!
  2. What drew you to the position? Having switched from softball and boys lacrosse, I was a little too physical. Furthermore, I found goalie very similar to being a catcher, so it was a natural transition for me.
  3. What’s your favorite part about playing the position now? The feeling when you make the perfect save. Off-stick mid, ball hits your pocket right in the sweet spot. Nothing like that rush!
  4. What’s the hardest part about the position for you? How do you try to manage or handle that aspect? The hardest part of the position for me has always been the varying ideas on how to play it. I didn't have a goalie coach until college, but it seems there's always another way to make a save or stand in goal. I love trying everything, but it took me a while to realize at some point you need to put your foot down and perfect your craft. I finally discovered I get more enjoyment from playing my unique style than anyone else's. If that upsets them, so be it; to me, a save is a save and anything is better than raking the ball out of the back of the net.
  5. In close games how do you stay focused? Staying focused in a close game all comes down to the preparations months in advance. If you've practiced in tight situations and mentally prepared through visualization, your body takes over when its crunch time.
  6. When things start going south in game, like consecutive goals without a save, how do you rebound and stay confident? Similar to the prior question, I think you have to find your confidence from within yourself. You didn't just all of the sudden become a horrible goalie, but some days you just can't save a beach ball. I try to focus on what I can do well (communication, groundballs, etc) that have little to do with saving the ball. Eventually, that momentum gets you to saving again. What about when things aren’t going well defensively as a unit? When things are going well as a unit, I usually find it's best just to simplify it. If everyone focuses on communication and contact, it tends to correct itself.
  7. Can you discuss any challenges you faced and how you overcame them? (I.e. lack playing time, injury, time management, etc) I've luckily never really been too injured, but I have found the biggest challenge throughout the years is proving to my peers I am good enough. Simply put, I was under-recruited, overlooked and have pretty much had a chip on my shoulder ever since. I've been cut way too many times to even remember, from high school level teams to USA/Pro teams. But I've learned that not everyone is going to love you or your style, and that's ok. The only way to pick yourself up is to fall, and I'll keep on falling as long as I continue to enjoy this sport!
  8. Favorite college lacrosse memory? Easily reaching the final four for the first time in program history during my freshman year. Also picked up my first assist!
  9. If you had to do the recruiting process over again, is there anything you would do differently? I think recruiting has changed greatly from when I was recruited, but I wouldn't change a thing. I spent more time at camps and I think a lot of players are missing that today. Club teams are overrated, in my opinion. Not in your choice of school, but things you considered highly then but might not necessarily now? I'm a big believer that everything is what you make of it. College is a fun but hard four years, I think as long as your academic and athletic goals line up with the school, the rest works out. What were the things that were most important to you to look for in a school during your process? I pretty much had my head everywhere in the recruiting process. I looked more for quality education but one where I felt like the culture of the school fit my personality. I didn't have a lot of lacrosse options, but those that I did, I wanted the lacrosse to be competitive and the academics to allow me to study a lot of things (I had no idea what I wanted to major in!).
  10. Did you feel burnt out after the recruiting process? I was lucky, I was late to the recruiting, actually took official visits and was amped to go. Have you ever felt burnt out throughout your career? How did you get through those periods? My first year after college I was pretty burnt out. I didn't touch my stick for a long time and focused on other things. Eventually, it became fun again and I haven't looked back. I think because I didn't pick up my first goalie stick until my freshman year, I have been able to continue to play this game a lot longer than most without being seriously burnt out.
  11. Do you have a favorite drill or one that has helped you the most in goal, with and without someone else? Honestly, I love wall ball. Helps your throwing but also helps your coordination. Maggie Koch introduced me to a routine during my freshman year at cuse and I've used it ever since. With shooters, I like to just simulate game situations. The more game-realistic shots, the better!
  12. Where do you think you have grown the most in your game from high school to college and how did you do it? This is a good question, a player actually asked me this last weekend. I think I've grown most in my mental game. I used to be super hot/cold and was a closed shell towards a lot of people. I didn't want to let people help and I didn't like being seen as weak. I'm still hard on myself, but I'm more accepting of failure as growth steps. What resources did you use to get there (individual coaches, club teams, etc)? Maggie Koch was a big help, even though we frequently butted heads (best friends now!). I also did a lot of reading on the subject, which I thought was super helpful
  13. Something you could tell yourself now when you were first learning the position or anything you wish you knew then? Figure out how you learn (visual, writing down, performing yourself, etc) and get as much information as you can that way as possible. I learn the most from watching other goalies, so YouTube is something I look to even now.
  14. Pre-game ritual? I have a very chilled out playlist. On the field, I like to walk the line a little with two sticks and then jump into saves. 
  15. What makes you weird? (Or just a fun fact)  I have a teddy bear named L3, and I often watch lax games with her!
  16. Anything else you think young goalies would find helpful if they’re trying to play in college? Embrace the grind and the goals you've let in. The more you can learn from each experience the more you'll be able to grow into the best goalie you can be. Oh, and don't be discouraged the first semester of college when it feels like everything is moving at lightning speed. It eventually slows down!