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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Freshman Goalie Has Monster Year

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Courtesy of Beacons Athletics 

Zach Andrews, a freshman goaltender out of Coral Springs, Florida, has had an incredible season for a Beacons team that is currently ranked 11th in the nation, and was recently defeated by Babson in the ECAC East semifinals. They are considered a likely contender for an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament.

Andrews has enjoyed a great season. He boasts a 17-6-2 record, .89 save percentage, and 3.14 goals against average for a wildly improved Beacons team.

With Andrews it goes way beyond the numbers. It’s not often a team can go from having a .500 record to morphing into the No. 2 seed in the ECAC tournament. After beating the University Of New England at home on Feb 23, they fell to Babson, 4-3 in OT this past saturday in the semifinals.

Andrews was not even expecting to play going in to this season. 

Last year’s team featured Alex Scola in net. Alex ended up leaving after his first year and as soon as Zack heard of this, he knew he had to step up. For him that was a great feeling, but an even greater challenge. “I was not aware I was going to play all the games…I wanted to do anything to beat last year’s record,” he said.

While growing up in Florida, Zack became a die-hard Panthers fan. When one of his junior coaches became an assistant for the Panthers, Zack too reaped the benefits; he was now being guided by a National Hockey League coach in the offseason, in his favorite hockey team’s facility. As far as the Panthers are concerned, Zack says, “I’ll always be a Panthers fan, always. I used to go to every game, EVERY game.”

Andrews now resides in Walpole, a town well known for its sports and penitentiary. Perhaps it’s living in Walpole that has transformed Zack into such a killer on the ice. He is on his way to finishing the season with at least 19 wins, saving 89 percent of shots faced and allowing just over three goals per game. He said, “That’s not a great goalie stat… but at the end of the day wins and losses are the only things that matter.”

When asked if he thought they could be better next year, he was quick to brush off future expectations because for Zack, getting wins and potentially getting them in the NCAA tournament, is the most important thing — even if he hopes to one day build a Beacon hockey empire.

When asked in what area he’s improved most since he first started, Zack took a step back. “That’s a good question. It’s not really anything to do with anything on ice… it’s more of a mental game. My coach said you have to just beat the guy on the other side and that changed my mindset.”

His mindset is simple now: just win. He said, “(the regular season finale against Norwich) was one of fastest games all year. The goalie always blames himself, but I wish I had that 3rd goal back because it would have been a different game.” (The Beacons suffered a 4-2 defeat.)

Playing juniors during his second year in Walpole, Beacons coach Peter Belisle showed interest in Andrews, who has said the biggest reason he’s playing for the Beacons is because it’s nice to be liked and wanted. He added “(assistant) Coach McGrath brought me along, told me I’d be a big part of team,” and he most certainly has been.

Now with a great resume, the formula for Zack is simple: Root for the Panthers, always love John Van Biesbrouck — because of the inspirations he gave to Zack as a fellow short goalie— and of course, keep winning in the playoffs. The freshman has proven to be one of the stories of the year in the athletic department, and we’ll have to hope that the dream season for the Beacons will continue.