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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    S-Soccer

    Landed in goal by chance
    Gondosch took chance goalkeeping, found new passion

    BY: Iman Hamdan

    At age 10, Arizona freshman Alison Gondosch filled in as goalkeeper, only expecting to play the position for one tournament.She hasn’t stopped playing the position since that point. Right now Gondosch is just a backup for the Wildcats behind junior transfer Gabby Kaufman, but she is ready to fill in if the time comes — just as she did nine years ago.
    “She is still young and learning, but she’s done a phenomenal job these first few weeks of stepping in,” head coach Lisa Oyen said. “We talked to her at length all throughout the recruiting process about what our expectations are for goalkeepers with leadership, communication and organization.”
    Prior to coming to Arizona, the Ontario native played goalie for Rockway Collegiate High School and for a club team. She was picked to play for an Ontario Provincial Team from 2007-2010.
    “When I was 14, I got to represent Ontario and we went to the national championships in Edmonton,” Gondosch said. “We won the gold medal there, which was pretty cool.”
    Gondosch also won another gold medal with her high school team at regionals in 2009.
    The decision to come to the UA was made easier by the fact that Gondosch often visited Tucson in the winters
    “I kept Arizona at the back of my mind when I was looking at recruiting opportunities,” Gondosch said.
    As a student athlete, Gondosch found herself well-prepared in dealing with the travel-intensive schedule this season because of her experience in high school.
    “Well, you definitely have to be on top of things and look at conflicting dates, plus your professors know ahead of time, but you just have to know how to manage your time,” Gondosch said.
    Meanwhile on the field, Gondosch’s transition to becoming an Arizona goalkeeper has been a more gradual process.
    “Club (soccer) is a big deal at home and training isn’t as intense as it is here,” Gondosch said. “The change of pace took a little bit to get use to, but once you get into the swing of things everything seems a lot more manageable.”
    According to Gondosch, her transition to Arizona has been smooth because of her teammates.
    Junior transfer Gabby Kaufman, also a goalkeeper, encourages Gondosch to come to her with questions or concerns and also challenges her to step up her game while competing for the same starting position.
    Senior defender Alex Smith’s fondest memory of Gondosch comes from the annual team retreat to Pinetop.
    “We always do freshman skits on a pre-season retreat,” Smith said. “So each freshman has a scene and so they usually impersonate some of the seniors or different players. Even though Alison is still a little shy, it was fun to watch her perform her skit.”
    While Gondosch might be shy off the field, her leadership abilities are shining through when she is in the net, an attribute Oyen has noticed since Gondosch first came to the UA.
    “From day one she was vocal and she’s done everything we asked her to,” Oyen said. “So her progress has been very, very good. A lot of that has to do with the fact that she is very determined and learns things quickly.”

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