Asher Nolting Cannons New Role

Asher Nolting Brings a Familiar Mindset to New Role With the Cannons

By Grant DelVecchio

Jun 9, 2023

Asher Nolting first learned how to be a competitor on the golf course. 

Golf is a humbling, unforgiving game. It requires a short memory and a calloused mind. In many ways, it’s prepared Nolting for life as a professional athlete. 

“You can’t blame anyone else for anything going on out there, and I learned that pretty early on,” Nolting explained.

It was Nolting’s father, Allen, a former collegiate golfer at the University of Kansas, who had Asher competing in golf tournaments as a pre-teen. But, it’s Nolting’s godmother, Becky Goodman, a former collegiate lacrosse player at Skidmore College, who is responsible for gifting him his first lacrosse stick. 

That was back when Asher was a second grader, freshly infatuated with the medicine game thanks to his friendly older neighbors. Not long after, Bill Tierney took over as the head coach of the University of Denver men’s lacrosse program, further igniting Asher’s – and many others’ – love for the game. 

“We all grew up going to DU games on Saturdays; going to the tailgates, playing football and doing all that stuff,” Nolting remembered. “I'd probably say out of the seven to 10 guys that are in my core group from Colorado, I think all of us played lacrosse and six of us ended up playing Division I lacrosse.”

Nolting is no late bloomer. By the time he was a freshman at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado, he was committed to play Division 1 lacrosse at the Air Force Academy. Eventually, Jon Torpey won him over to High Point, where he finished his career with the ninth most points in Division I history (344). 

Last Saturday against the Archers, Nolting began his second season as a pro with an impressive five-point effort (1G, 4A). Though he didn’t have the best shooting performance (1-7, 14%), he battled against defensive eraser Graeme Hossack and demonstrated his prowess as a passer. The four assists are a new career high, and the one goal was hard-earned. Nolting was an All-Star last season and had just nine assists in ten games. He scored more than three points once last season.

In 2022, Nolting proved his capability of playing at a high level without the ball in his stick and then some. But in game one of this season, Nolting operated as the primary facilitator for the Cannons behind the cage. A new coaching staff and new personnel have brought on new responsibilities. Truth be told, Nolting is comfortable regardless of his specific role on offense. 

“I think [my biggest strength] comes down to just the willingness that I have to do whatever the team needs from me that day; whether that's dodging a lot, or if it's feeding and facilitating, or if it's just being a transfer guy and getting other guys involved,” Nolting said. 

“And that's something I pride myself on, being versatile enough to be able to do all of that.”

As a kid, Nolting was inspired by Kyle Harrison. He also paid close attention to the battles his two new teammates at attack – Marcus Holman and Matt Kavanagh – had in their college days.  

“I like to remind [Marcus and Matt] how much older they are than me, and just talk about the times that I got to watch them growing up on ESPNU on Saturdays,” Nolting said with a chuckle. 

“I think that's another thing that changed from this year to last year. As a rookie, I kind of had some impostor syndrome of you know, ‘Man, am I really supposed to be here? Am I good enough?’ But this year, [Marcus and Matt] do a great job of keeping me confident. It's been an unbelievable experience to be able to be on an attack line with both of those guys,” Nolting said plainly. 

Now that he is a full season wiser at the pro level, Nolting has been focusing more on letting the game come to him.

“I think the biggest knock on me for my entire career has been my turnovers. And, to an extent, I think that's fair,” Nolting attested.

“I take a lot of risks, and that's just how I've always played and how I've always wanted to play. But, it hurts the team if I make a bad turn over, so I’ve definitely tried to dial in a little bit more into the film… my decision making is probably the thing that I'm still trying to improve on. It's definitely gotten better.”

In the season opener, Nolting had just one turnover on 35 total touches. While Nolting recognizes his tendency to, at times, push the envelope too much, he’s never let a turnover faze him. That’s the golf training coming back into play. 

“The first sport I ever played in anything competitive was a golf tournament and that's by yourself. So I had to mentally get pretty tough,” Nolting affirmed.

“I developed some mental stuff that let me throw some mistakes away. I think that also probably contributes to my turnovers because most of the time I just forget I turned the ball over.”

Outside of the enhanced situational awareness, Nolting also brings another new, but familiar identity to the field this season. Nolting is back wearing 32, his college number, after a year spent feeling unlike himself as agent zero. Once the number became available, it was a no-brainer; 32 is a Nolting family number. Asher’s mom, Jody, wore it on the volleyball court in high school, as did Allen Nolting on the basketball court. 

But really, this season so far has been more of the same for Nolting. The same dynamic play-making ability on display, the same readiness to adapt to whatever role his team needs filled, and the same toothy smile that goes along with it all. 

You can catch Nolting and the Cannons LC take on Chaos LC this Saturday live on ESPN+ at 5:30 p.m.

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