Quint Kessenich's analysis

March 05, 2010

Quint Kessenich knows a thing or two about goalies. The ESPN analyst is a former All-America goalkeeper who helped Johns Hopkins capture the 1987 national title. Here is his breakdown of Notre Dame senior Scott Rodgers, Princeton sophomore Tyler Fiorito and Maryland senior Brian Phipps.

Scott Rodgers, Notre Dame
Strength: "Rodgers is a physical beast between the pipes like we've never seen before, and to combine that height [6 feet 4, 254 pounds] with an athletic skill set like he has is just absurd. He's just gargantuan; there's no other way to explain it. The goal looks tiny for shooters, and he moves well, and they defend well according to his strengths. Notre Dame forces people to weak-angled shots down the alleys. So they defend perfectly for a goalie of that size. He's just bigger than anything we've seen."

Weakness: "I think out of the goal, in terms of ground-ball play and clearing. He can become a little more active. He tends to be very conservative."

Tyler Fiorito, Princeton
Strength: "He covers a lot of goal. He's got that ability to make the midrange save because he's got a nice combination of intuition, positioning and really quick hands. What surprised me last year was that he didn't get overpowered. Many freshman goalies will get overpowered in their first year, and I never really saw that from him. He's matured. When he transferred from Boys' Latin [to McDonogh], he stayed back a grade, so he's physically mature and strong. I think that was another reason why he was able to step in and play immediately last year."

Weakness: "He's got a little hitch occasionally. He goes down to his knees a little too much. He's just got to hold his positioning a little longer. At times, he kind of bails out and goes down. And then, the other would be that on some of his outlet passes, he doesn't move his feet and just tries to lob the ball over the riding attackman instead of resetting his feet and getting on his toes and throwing the ball around that rider. That's just a lazy habit that a lot of goalies have."

Brian Phipps, Maryland
Strength: "He really understands the game. I think he's got a really good mind for the game and a really good mind for shooters. He's not going to wow you in any of the departments, but I don't think he's got a hole either. I think he's steady, consistent, makes the big save, understands the game, rarely gives up a really soft goal."

Weakness: "Phipps has to prove that he's in the upper echelon. Here's a guy who split time last year until the end of the year. So he's got a lot to prove in terms of playing a full 60 minutes until the end of the season and over the course of a whole season at a high level. I would compare him to more of a middle reliever who posted good numbers in middle relief. But he's going to be on the hill from innings one to nine every game this year, and that's a significant challenge."

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