S. Carroll's Nave: a cagey veteran Senior's play in goal sparks Cavs to 6-1 start

April 23, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

Defense long has been the trademark of the rich South Carroll boys lacrosse tradition.

zTC This year's team is no different.

That's probably why senior goalie Chris Nave understands his role so well and has helped lead the Cavaliers to a 6-1 record midway through the season.

Nave has been a goalie since he first began playing the sport in the fifth grade in the Freedom lacrosse program. The team needed a goalie and Nave said he would give it a try.

He has been there ever since, last year coming up with 104 saves and leading the county with a .680 save percentage.

He often wondered what it would be like playing up front and scoring goals, but understands his niche is in the cage.

"You have to be a little different," said Nave.

"People come up to me and say they can't believe I stand in front of the goal and take those shots. Before it used to be they'd put the biggest guy in goal, but now it's more about quickness. You have to play the ball, not let the ball play you."

Cavaliers coach Gene Brown says there's a lot more to playing the position than just being big or quick. Entering the season, he said, "If there was one good player on your team, you probably would want him as the goalie."

Nave is in his third season of minding the South Carroll cage, playing part of his sophomore season before starting all of last year. He plans to continue his career at Lynchburg College in Virginia and possibly study business.

"As a lacrosse coach, the first thing I stress is defense, and with a guy like Chris in the cage, it makes everyone's job a lot easier," Brown said.

"He has real good quickness, great vision and outlets and brings leadership to the field. His ability to clear the ball effectively is a big plus for us. When a defense has confidence in their goalie, they play that much better and our defense has that kind of confidence in him."

For Nave, it's a give-and-take kind of a deal. He relies on defenders Geof Weisenborn, Jason Kable and Matt Wilson as much as they do him.

"We have some great players back there and I give them a lot of credit. They really do a great job keeping the shots outside," Nave said.

"Geof is just tough, period; Jason shuts everything down along the crease and Matt has some great stickwork. When you have those kind of guys in front of you, it really helps. We also have another great goalie in Clay, who has really pushed me."

There's another side of playing the goal as well. Nave says you have to stay up and keep the players in front of you thinking positively. It's a leadership role Nave thrives on.

"I like being in control of things and being a leader," Nave said.

"You have to have everyone believing in you and you believing in yourself. When I was younger, I'd get scored on and get really down on myself. Coach Brown has preached on keeping your head high. Now, when we get scored on I just try to figure out what went wrong and what we can do to correct it."

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