At a school with many talented athletes, coming into a program as a freshman can be difficult when trying to put your name on the map. However, certain standouts in each sport prove that they can stay toe-to-toe with seniors who have been with the program for four years. Freshman Isabelle “Izzy” Goldstein is one of those players. A midfielder on women’s lacrosse here at Vassar College, Goldstein has had standout games and career highs that have helped her team pull out crucial wins against tough opponents.
Goldstein has been playing lacrosse for many years. “I joined my town’s youth lacrosse team when I was in sixth grade,” explained Goldstein in an emailed statement. “My grade created a community and culture based around lacrosse that didn’t exist in my town before us. That commitment and shared enthusiasm fueled my love of lacrosse.” Goldstein was also heavily influenced by her high school team. “My club lacrosse team in high school, Revolution Lacrosse, really shaped who I am as a player in that it emphasized working the hardest you can all the time. I come prepared, control the things I can control, and don’t bother myself with the rest.”
In choosing Vassar as her path for the next four years, Goldstein expressed how the decision was not that hard to make. “I decided very early on that I wanted a small, liberal arts school where I could get the best education possible and have the opportunity to play lacrosse,” she wrote. “Vassar stood out from these schools because of the sense of community that I saw on my visit.” Goldstein also felt a deep connection with the lacrosse program at Vassar College. “[Coach Finerghty] put a lot of effort into making the recruiting process more personal by constantly reaching out to me. Also, Phoebe, a current junior on the team, emailed me multiple times answering my questions about Vassar and what it means to her, which helped a lot in making me feel like they were invested in me,” explained Goldstein.
Only in her first year as a part of the team, Goldstein has made her presence known on the field. One of her most astounding feats came against Western Connecticut College, where she scored a career-high seven goals to lift the Vassar College women’s lacrosse team to an 18-14 win on April 16. However, she did not stop her streak there. Goldstein soon made another huge statement against William Smith College on April 19 where she scored four goals, including the game-winner with 21.5 seconds left, to give Vassar another Liberty League win, which brought their total to 10-9 at that point in the season. Her scoring total nears the top of the leader board on her team for the 2013 season.
Goldstein feels that her success could not have come without people constantly pushing her to do her best. “I have an amazing opportunity to be able to make an impact on the field as a freshman,” described Goldstein. “I couldn’t achieve any of my goals without the help of my teammates. They want me to succeed and challenge me and support me everyday.” However, Goldstein came to the program with a clear path for herself. “One of my goals from early on was to not play like a freshman, but play like me. I have put so much into this sport and I don’t want to settle for being the kid with potential that didn’t give it her all.”
Goldstein has been a standout to coaches and teammates alike. Head coach Judy Finerghty expressed her praise for Goldstein and how she has impacted the program. “Izzy is a terrific talent. She is a creative player with great field vision and knack for setting her teammates up to score,” Finerghty wrote. “Her dedication to the team’s strength training program also shows in her play, as she has explosive speed and the ability to fight for ground balls. Izzy is mentally determined and she has become an impact player for our team this year, scoring three game winning goals so far. I cannot say enough about the energy she brings to the team, her work ethic and team-oriented attitude!”
Senior co-captain Lindsay Haggerty echoed her coach’s words. “Izzy has seamlessly integrated herself into the team and has proved that she is a force to be reckoned with,” Haggerty noted. “As a freshman, she was able to quickly adjust to the high level of play that we face during the season and has contributed to the team in very important ways both on and off the field.”
Fellow freshman Mallory Tyler stated how Goldstein is not only a great player, but a wonderful person in general. “Izzy is a huge asset to our team-her game stats speak for themselves. Beyond that though, Izzy is a wonderful teammate. She always has a kind word to say and she’s a super fun person on and off the field. Being on the team with her has been awesome and I’m very excited to keep playing alongside her in seasons to come,” wrote Tyler.
Although a strong individual player, Goldstein emphasized how her Vassar experience would not be the same without her teammates. Goldstein explained how her spring break was enhanced by being surrounded by other players. “We had the chance to bond as a team,” described Goldstein. “There isn’t any way I’d rather spend my break than with these ladies. My relationships with all 23 of my teammates are really the most amazing thing I get out of being a part of this team.”
Izzy added to the importance of having a strong unit. “I couldn’t be in a better place than here on the Vassar Women’s Lacrosse team,” she wrote. “I am surrounded by intelligent, talented, and motivated individuals that have made my experience here at school an amazing one. The relationships I’ve made with my teammates are the most meaningful and important ones I could have. I feel comfortable with each and every person on this team. The chance to become close with not just other freshmen, but upperclassmen as well is one I really value.”