Haley Crosson is a rising senior and earned her role as the starting goalie for Johns Hopkins University in the 2018 season, starting all 19 games. She ended the season with a 46.3% save percentage and 10.86 goals against average, twice earning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. Originally from Cold Spring Harbor, NY, Haley attended Cold Harbor High School where she also played field hockey and in lacrosse led her team to the Long Island finals in her final two seasons. She played club for the Long Island Yellow Jackets, and her major is political science with a minor in marketing and communications.
Keep reading to learn more about Haley.
How long have you been playing goalie/lacrosse?
I have been playing lacrosse since about 4th grade. I grew up on Long Island where Lacrosse is very popular and almost everyone plays at some point in their life.
What drew you to the position?
What drew me to goalie was the fact that it separated me from the rest of team in a cool way. Everyone wanted to play offense and score goals and for some reason I was the one who wanted to be stopping all of them.
What’s your favorite part about playing the position now?
My favorite part about playing goalie is the defenders I play with. I enjoy being the quarterback of the defense and talking with my defenders about what is and is not working. It doesn’t hurt that we have a very funny bunch here at Hopkins! It is also fun playing at Hopkins and having our schedule feature some of the top offenses in the country. On the defensive side, we know each other's strengths and weaknesses well and help manipulate each others play.
What’s the hardest part about the position for you? How do you try to manage or handle that aspect?
The hardest part about the goalie position for me was the transition from high school to college. The game was sped up enormously and it was tough for me. I overcame this obstacle by becoming super close with my teammates and getting used to the speed of the game every day.
In close games how do you stay focused?
I stay focused by keeping it loose with my defenders. After we score a goal, me and my four defenders are usually laughing about something that happened a couple plays ago. I stay focused by knowing all of my teammates have a good mindset.
When things start going south in game, like consecutive goals without a save, how do you rebound and stay confident? What about when things aren’t going well defensively as a unit
When things are not going my way in a game, I use my teammates to bounce back. What is great about my team is that my teammates can tell when I’m not on my A game or I’m frustrated during a game and they put a goal back on them when it wasn’t necessarily their fault. Goalie is a very mental game and I have been working very hard to keep a short memory.
What’s the best part about playing in college? Favorite college lacrosse memory?
The best part about playing college lacrosse is the student athlete experience. You and your teammates share a special bond because of the early wake ups, impossible fall workouts, and the 10 hour long bus rides, and everything in between. My favorite college lacrosse memory is watching the selection show and hearing our name being called for an at large bid. We have been successful on two out of our last three seasons.
If you committed early, how did you stay motivated to keep getting better? How do you stay motivated now in the off season?
I committed between my sophomore and junior year of high school. I stayed motivated to get better because of my summer and high school lacrosse teams. I was lucky enough to play alongside all Division One-bound players who all shared the same goal. For my summer team, it was to win every game and every tournament. We were very successful in doing this. For my high school team, it was a state championship. We came up one goal short. That game is something that has driven me for the past 4 years.
If you had to do the recruiting process over again, is there anything you would do differently? Not in your choice of school, but things you considered highly then but might not necessarily now? What were the things that were most important to you to look for in a school during your process?
If I could do the recruiting process again, I would tell myself to be more outgoing. Being in college and taking girls on tours and out to eat, I would just encourage girls to ask any and all questions that they have about the school and even about the process itself. What is great about Hopkins is that our coaches are very open about the recruiting process and want you to choose Hopkins because you have ruled every other school out, not because Hopkins forced you to commit to their school earlier than others.
Did you feel burnt out after the recruiting process? Have you ever felt burnt out throughout your career? How did you get through those periods?
I did not feel burnt out after the recruiting process because I was very lucky that I had coaches and directors who were very helpful and supportive. Luckily, I found Hopkins, which I immediately fell in love with and all other schools did not seem to matter. I have felt burnt out after college years just because when it comes to the end of the semester, lacrosse and school are hyped up very much. It can be a stressful time especially if things do not go your way on the field. How I got through this was taking a little break from my stick/equipment. I still played lacrosse, bust mostly focused on working out and having a good mindset.
Do you have a favorite drill or one that has helped you the most in goal, with and without someone else?
This year, we added a goalie coach to our staff. He had all types of drills but the ones that helped me the most involved weights. Although these were not my favorite drills, especially if we just came back from a lift, these were the drills that translated the most to saves. We had a weighted stick and weighted gloves. For people who want to mimick this, just attach a weight to your gloves (a couple pounds) and go through your regular warmup.
Where do you think you have grown the most in your game from high school to college and how did you do it? What resources did you use to get there (individual coaches, club teams, etc)?
I think I have grown the most in my game mentally. My goalie coach has helped me a lot with this. He gives me the confidence that I need to have a short memory and reminds me of how good I can be. Everyone is one of the best kids on their high school team and in college, it takes that much more hard work to be the best. I have to remind myself of this when I let in goals that I am used to saving.
Something you could tell yourself now when you were first learning the position or anything you wish you knew then?
I would probably tell myself that you are going to get a lot of bruises, and to just prepare for that.
I always wear the same spandex for every game, other than that I am not too superstitious. I like to stay loose and dance in the locker room with my friends.
What makes you weird? (Or just a fun fact)
Fun fact: I am a twin. My twin brother also plays college lacrosse at Ithaca College in New York.
Anything else you think young goalies would find helpful if they’re trying to play in college?
Have fun during games and be open to any drill that could possibly help grow your game!