On today’s episode of the Lax Goalie Rat podcast, I’m joined by the starting goalie for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team, Lilly Callahan.
Lilly is coming off an amazing junior year campaign which saw her each the starting netminder job for the Fighting Irish leading her squad to the ACC Semi-finals and quarterfinals appearance in the NCAA tournament.
Lilly’s impressive stats, including a .448 save percentage, 148 saves, and a 9.18 GAA, rightfully earned her prestigious accolades. She was recognized as an Honorable Mention in the USA Lacrosse Magazine All-American list, secured a well-deserved spot on the All-ACC Second Team, and showcased her academic prowess with an ACC All-Academic Team award.
Lilly’s introduction to lacrosse took place in the 8th grade when her team was in dire need of a goalie. Despite not being the fastest player on the roster, she fearlessly embraced the role. While it was a daunting start, her unwavering focus on the ball and a commitment to making the most of every experience played a pivotal role in her journey, ultimately leading to her remarkable success.
Though Lilly joined the lacrosse scene later than her peers, she never allowed this to hinder her progress. Drawing from her background in ice hockey and field hockey, she tirelessly honed her skills and diligently learned the nuances of the goalie position.
Lilly loved the ability to be a leader on the team and see the game from a different angle. The emotions and excitement from making a save create an adrenaline rush that you can’t really get anywhere else is what keeps her hooked to the position even to this day.
Lilly played for Mass Elite Club lacrosse growing up and was also fortunate enough to have a lot of goalie coaches who worked with her to teach her the proper techniques and footwork to excel at the position.
As her junior year approached, Lilly’s solid summer performance attracted the attention of numerous coaches eager to have her join their programs.
The shift in recruiting rules, which mandated a wait until September 1st of junior year to initiate recruitment, proved advantageous for Lilly. This change enabled her to concentrate on her growth as a goalie without the added pressure of catching the eye of recruiters—an invaluable lesson, especially for athletes like Lilly, who entered the sport later in their journey.
Interestingly, Notre Dame wasn’t initially on Lilly’s radar. However, a recruitment trip to South Bend altered her perspective, as she fell in love with the campus and the academic offerings the school provided.
That decision proved to pay off as after some time waiting and developing behind a solid goaltending group at Notre Dame Lilly is now the backbone of one of the best programs in the country heading into her senior year with the Irish.
I hope you enjoy this episode where Lilly and I discuss topics like tips for 8-meter shots, staying consistent and advice for taller goalies.
Lacrosse is my passion! The game has given me so much and this blog is my way of giving back to the lax community. Specifically the most bad a$$ part of that community - the goalies! After learning to play goalie from scratch, I wanted to create a site where I could share what I learned with others so they too can become champions in the crease and in life. Learn more about Coach Damon.
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