Entry Draft Spotlight: Zach Goodrich

By Joe Keegan

PLL Analyst

Mar 17, 2021

Lockdown short-stick defensive midfielders are rare. The best are like having a fifth pole on the field; anything below that is dodged dozens of times per game as opposing offenses aim to spin the defensive carousel.

Zach Goodrich is that proverbial fifth pole on a defense.

There’s one less mismatch for the offense to attack with Goodrich on the field. As a sophomore at Towson, he covered Eric Fannell – an attackman – in the Final Four. By design. The Tigers trusted their SSDM to lock down the Buckeyes’ go-to playmaker. Goodrich held him to 2-for-11 shooting.

Don’t anticipate many PLL players dodging Goodrich this summer. His footwork is flawless. He’s physical with his holds at the island, somehow managing to deny topside with his stick while denying the roll back with his body. This reverse V-hold is textbook.

Inverts were en vogue in 2020. We’ll see even more in 2021. Few (if any) will be against Goodrich. With him on your defense, you’re able to dictate which offensive player dodges. Maybe you play two poles out and place your “second” short-stick on your opponent’s crease attackman – now which one-on-one do you need to slide to?

There’s barely an advantage gained when a pick produces a switch landing Goodrich on an attackman. We’ll see how he fares against the stronger (Matt Rambo, Zed Williams) and the faster (Grant Ament) threats in the league. Being able to switch or trap those picks at GLE gives the defense a counter to the league's most dangerous looks.

One thing is for certain: Goodrich won’t back down from any matchup.

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