Kristiana Ferguson assists SU as backup goalie after switching from position on attack

first_imgKristiana Ferguson had always played on attack. But before the 2015 season, Ferguson and her coaches jokingly discussed the idea of a switch.Syracuse only had one goalie in the fall and practices would take longer because of it, Ferguson said. At first, having her take some of the shots so starting goalie Kelsey Richardson could get a rest was only a somewhat serious suggestion.“Having one goalie take all the shots is kind of brutal,” Ferguson said.But that suggestion became reality, and before the season, Ferguson got to test out her new position. Against the United States national team on Jan. 17, Ferguson was able to face some of the nation’s best attacks. She performed well, associate head coach Regy Thorpe said. For the Orange, the No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, this year, she allowed two goals in her lone chance in net against Canisius on Feb. 7.“She went down and stepped in and played against the U.S. for a half and did an outstanding job,” Thorpe said. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFerguson, now a senior, had played attack for two years prior, but couldn’t establish a consistent role because there were so many other attacks on the bench. She said she wanted to help the team however she could, and with a void at the goalie position, she decided to make the switch.Ferguson has hit her ups and downs though, since she is still learning the position.“I’ll get really frustrated because I know I should be doing something but I can’t really figure it out,” she said.Despite the learning curve, Thorpe said she’s progressing well, noting she has great hands, good size and is really quick.While it’s been both trying and rewarding, Ferguson said she enjoys goalkeeping, acknowledging that it’s very much different from attack.“Instead of scoring goals,” Ferguson said, “you’re trying to stop them, so that was a little weird.”She said switching from an attack mindset to the complete opposite of trying to prevent goals has been as difficult as any of the physical demands.Kristen McGuinness, Ferguson’s Niagara Wheatfield (New York) High School coach, emphasized that her stick-handling ability was the best on the team.Ferguson played attack in high school and scored 14 goals for Niagara Wheatfield in the 2009-10 season.McGuinness said she wasn’t surprised to learn that Ferguson was moving to goalie, though. Ferguson is athletic, strong and an all-around lacrosse player, she said. In addition to her on-the-field talent, McGuinness commended her leadership, noting that she was a captain in 2009.At SU, Ferguson credits Richardson with helping teach her the ins and outs of the position. Thorpe said that with Richardson being a senior, her experience and leadership is valuable knowledge for other, younger goalies, including Ferguson.Playing time for Ferguson remains limited, though.Thorpe said he thinks it’s important to get the other goalies, including Ferguson, some playing time in order to prepare for next season.“Obviously Kelsey’s a senior, it’s her position there, but if there’s opportunities to get her in there, we’re going to get her in there,” Thorpe said. “… She’s filling a void for the team so she’s doing whatever we ask of her, and that’s all you can ask.” Comments Published on May 4, 2015 at 6:14 pm Contact Danny: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img