With the only goalie on last year’s Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team a senior, the Mules knew they would need to find someone to fill the void in the cage this spring.
So when then-sophomore Tiffany Kreider heard the news from some of her friends on the team, she volunteered her duties.
Well, kind of.
“It was always kind of a joke,” she said. “They said they needed a goalie, and I said, ‘Well I’ll do it.’ But I never really thought it would actually happen. Then one day I went out and took some shots, and I’ve been hooked.”
Kreider, who played on the field hockey team her first two years at Muhlenberg, had just a small understanding of lacrosse as a senior at Mifflinburg High School in central Pennsylvania.
But Kreider stuck to field hockey and never tried her hand at lacrosse. That is until her friends on the team said they were in need of a goalie.
Flash forward 10 months, and there was Kreider taking her place between the pipes for yesterday’s season opener at Widener.
And while she said she had no idea what to expect, she was immediately thrust into a tough spot.
Facing a free-position shot less than 10 minutes in, she got enough of her stick on the ball to send it flying harmlessly away for the first save of her career.
That one save was enough to boost her confidence, and from there she soared.
Kreider stopped nine of the Pride’s 12 shots on goal to help the Mules pick up a 15-3 win. She turned away three shots from point-blank range and two more on fastbreak opportunities.
“I was really nervous, but this wasn’t just about one person,” Kreider said. “It’s a team game, and my teammates did a great job of keeping them away from the goal. All I have to do is make sure I’m in front of the ball, and with the way the rest of the defense played, that was easy.”
To anyone unfamiliar with the situation, she would have looked like a natural who has been playing the game her entire life.
But her teammates were not surprised in the least. They’ve seen her aggressiveness and tenacity from the first day of practice and think she has all the makings of a rock-solid keeper. And, more importantly, the perfect fit for the Mules.
“It’s incredible how quickly she’s picked it up,” said senior Angela Napoletano. “She’s been impressive since the first day of practice. She has no fear, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.”