By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/28/14
Great Valley 2017 goalie Mia Tornetta had high expectations when she entered the inaugural Goal Guardian National championships last week in Manheim’s Spooky Nook Sports Center.
“Going into it I knew what I was capable of, and I wanted to show the world what I was capable of,” Tornetta said.
Tornetta, who helped lead Great Valley to a Ches-Mont League title and a berth in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association semifinals this spring, stunned even herself by winning the 2017 division and placing second overall with 2,142 points behind Goal Guardian champion Kady Glynn (Summit, NJ; 2015 Loyola commit).
“It felt really great (to win); actually, I was a little bit surprised I did this well,” said Tornetta.
The Guardian National Championship was the first ever “championship style” goalie combine ever offered. The unique Championship Competition is based on a patented “Guardian Method” points system, focusing on measuring the skills and competencies specific to the lacrosse goaltender.
The Championship testing included reactionary, offensive, virtual and athletic components resulting in weighted points according to categories. This new index, or Guardian Classification, not only gives NCAA coaches the ability to identify overall competency or skill level but also gives them the ability to match specific strengths and weaknesses of a goaltender to the particular system/defense the coach runs in their collegiate program.
“The two goals of the 2014 Guardian National Championship were to first create an objective measurement of the lacrosse goaltender, and second, create a ‘home’ for the best lacrosse goaltenders in the country to compete, be educated, and be celebrated,” said Guardian National Founder, Ginny Capicchioni. “We are proud to have accomplished both these goals.”
The 2014 Guardian National Championship hosted goalies representing both United States and the Iroquois Nation, and registered over 50 collegiate coaches, making it the largest Goalie showcase in history. The Guardian National Championship was housed in the largest indoor sports facility in the world, and claims to have used the highest level of technology available in amateur sports.
Tornetta said it was easy to be motivated because the competition catered to goalies.
“I really liked it because they really understand goalies and what we do,” she said. “That was great. Sometimes people don’t understand goalies.”
In the 2016 Division, Camden Catholic’s Khaia Baranowski (Villanova commit) of South Jersey Select placed second with 1916 points.
A quick rundown on the combine:
Reactionary – Featured many stations with many shooters firing from various locations, on the run, with defenders in the path of the goalie, or after quick passes.
Athletic – Combine-type testing with shuttle run, medicine ball throw, broad jump, etc.
Virtual – This was broken into sections in a classroom and on a computer to test goalies’ abilities to memorize faces and tendencies (such as recognizing lefty vs. righty shooters and where shots have been headed) and call out plays while facing 7v7 or 3v2 situations.
Offensive – This focused on clearing, carrying the ball and showing control while running in and out of obstacles.
“They were trying to get more from us. For me, I know I really needed to work on things like my passing on the run. I thought that was great. I think I did well in the Reactionary drills, and I was working on putting my body in front of the ball. I also learned to focus on moving on to saving the next shot, not focusing on the last one that got by me.”
“In the Virtual drills, we had to simulate actual games with pictures on a screen. I wasn’t used to that and I didn’t do as well as I did in the other drills. I just had to get used to it.”
Tornetta is not thinking about picking a college yet.
“I am just going into my sophomore year trying to work on how I can get better,” she said.
Glynn, of STEPS-NJ, said she was anxious to test her skills when she entered to compete in the Goal Guardian.
“I just went to have fun and see what it was,” said Glynn, who led Summit to the New Jersey Class II state championship. “Since it was a combine just for goalies, I thought that was really cool and I wanted to test myself.
“It was one of the coolest things I have done; it really focused on every element I think a goalie has to do,” said Glynn, whose Summit squad finished 21-2 and the Tournament of Champions runner-up this spring. “I was hoping to do well. I think I exceeded expectations.
Manasquan (N.J.) and T3’s Megan Gianforte was the 2016 champion with 2,047 points, said she wanted to work with some of the best goalie coaches.
“I honestly had no idea what to expect; I was going mostly for the fun of it and I also knew there would be a great competition,” she said. “The format was great. I liked the fact that we had high-caliber instructors to teach each component of the test.
“It gave me a true sense of my weaknesses. I liked the fast-paced test of each component and also the variety of the components.
“I excelled in the Athletic stations. I work with a trainer and we do stuff similar to this, but I never did these exact drills. I feel a goalie should be the most athletic person on the team. Quickness is what really sets them apart from other goalies; also their explosiveness and strength.”
(Total scoring based on tests in reactionary, athletic, virtual and offensive drills)
1. Taylor Suplee – from Maryland United & Bullis School, MD (2055 points)
2. Laura Redler – from NJLC & Robbinsville HS, NJ (1738)
3. Ryan Schlageter – from DEWLax & St Rose of Lima Academy, NJ (1677)
1. Mia Tornetta – from Mongoose Lacrosse & Great Valley, PA (2142)
2. Emma Jacobsen – from LI Top Guns & Miller Place HS, NY (1896)
3. Caroline Pastorius – from Metro & Ridgewood HS, NJ (1834)
1. Megan Gianforte – from T3 Shore Elite & Manasquan, NJ (2047)
2. Khaia Baranowski – from South Jersey Select & Camden Catholic, NJ (1916)
3. Jenna Haring – from Lady Roc & Lake Shore, NY (1907)
1. Kady Glynn – from Steps Elite & Summit HS, NJ (2286)
2. Jamie Dewitt – from T3 North Elite & Ridge HS, NJ (2033)
3. Mary Martin - from Hudson Valley Hurricanes, NY (1885)
1. Matthew Knote – from Team ESM & Eastport-South Manor, NY (1959)
2. Christian Wagner – from Trilogy & Grover Cleveland, NY (1649)
3. Robert Zevzavadjian – from Ramsey Middle School, MN (1557)
3. Gunnar Marks – from Tri State & East Brook. NJ (1487)
1. Christopher Porzelt – from FLG & Cold Spring Harbor, NY (2038)
2. Shahe Katchadurian – from Primetime Lacrosse & John Jay. NY (1942)
3. Walker West – from Long Island Express & Fox Lane, NY (1926)
1. Daniel MacDonald – from NESLL/Warrior Elite & North Attleboro HS, MA (2177)
2. Patrick Moriarty – from STEPS Lacrosse Club & Summit High School, NJ (1950)
3. Frank Genello ‐ from West Caldwell & James Caldwell, NJ (1874)
1. Cillian Donahue – from Fairfield Bucks & St. Joseph HS, NJ (2027)
2. Colin Cowie – from Performance & Bethesda-‐Chevy Chase HS, MD (1974)
3. Harrison Levy – from Long Island Express & Clarkstown North HS, NY (1957)
1. Alex Cramer – from American Revolution & Rocky Hill High School, CT (2083)
2. Logan Hill – from Iroquois Western Door & Niagara Wheatfield, NY (2012)
3. Kerry O’Rourke – from Valor Christian HS, CO (1938)
Tags: Great Valley