February 4, 2023
By Michael Lewis
Goalkeepers are different. There's little doubt about that.
They can use their hands besides their feet on the soccer field.
And, instead of trying to score goals, they're the last line of defense to deny the opposition, and many times find themselves in precarious situations.
Outdoors, it is difficult position to manage and perfect.
Indoors, you probably can triple or even quadruple the challenge because the action is so fast and furious.
But Rochester Lancers goalkeeper Daniel Maddock says to bring it on.
He actually enjoys being a guardian of the goal.
"Just follow the fun in it," he told co-host Andrew Battisti on the Soccer is a Kick in the Grass radio show on Monday night. "It's a weird way to look at it but you get the opportunity to make some great saves, great shot shopping and keep the adrenaline going.
"That's the fun of the indoor soccer. The action is non-stop. You're always thinking about how scary it is but how much fun you're having out there."
Maddock, who will turn 31 on March 23, didn't set out to become a goalkeeper. He started as a froward and slowly, but surely made his way to the back.
"That's a funny story," he said. "Growing up playing travel soccer, I actually started as a striker when I was 9-10 years old. I slowly moved my way down the pitch and went from striker, center mid and center back. One day, one of our coaches was like, 'Dan do you have any interested in playing goalie?' And I was like, 'Yeah, you know what, let me get in there.' "
When it came time to try out for Bethlehem Middle School boys soccer team in Bethlehem, N.Y., Maddock was volunteered by his future teammates.
Let's face it, players who can play goal and play it competently at a young age are at a premium.
"During tryouts, the coach comes in," Maddock said. "He's like, 'Anyone played goalie?' And all the guys pointed down the row to me. So I was volunteered to play goalie. That was probably 18 years ago. Since then, I've been playing between the pipes."
Playing it well enough to start for Bethlehem Central High School, earning Section 2 Capital Region all-star team honors in 2009 and second team Suburban Council accolades in 2008 and 2009.
He played his collegiate soccer at SUNY Geneseo, which is 36 miles south of Rochester. He competed there from 2011-14.
Like another former Lancers goalkeeper, Maddock played baseball in high school. He was a second baseman, while Shep Messing, who performed for Rochester during the 1979 North American Soccer League season, played shortstop back in the day.
"Second base is so similar to short," Maddock said. "A lot of goalkeeping and being able to get across your line quickly and shuffling side to side. I think that plays a big part.
"You're always locked in in baseball. There's not a lot of action all the time. When you're playing goalie, sometimes half the games on the other side of the field and you have to be able to stay locked in."
Since sweeping their first two games of the year 6-3 and 10-7 over the Muskegon Risers on Jan. 6 and 7, respectively, the Lancers have had a month break between games.
So, there has been plenty of room for work and improvement. The team has trained twice a week.
"The coaches have furthered the idea that you play the intensity of practice that's more than the intensity of the game," Maddock said. "We're practicing hard every week, and setting ourselves up for success. We've been able to kind of tweak some things that you know maybe didn't go quite right."
Rochester takes on the Iowa Raptors on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET and then the Iowa Demon Hawks on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. Both games are at the Alliant Energy Powerhouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The Raptors (4-1-1, 13 points) are atop the North Division, with the Demon Hawks (4-1-1, 12) close behind, in what is a 12-game regular season schedule.
"They've got talented players on team, and we just have to stick to our principles on how we play our game," Maddock said. "If we implement what the coaches have taught us - running the same program and plays - I think we'll be successful. These teams have scored a lot of goals. They've had a lot of shots on net. We're going to have to play a strong defense but stick to what makes us the Rochester Lancers. By doing that, we'll have some success."
Though the Lancers will play in the same venue for both matches, they won't have much time to catch their collective breaths between games.
"It's tough," Maddock said. "Basically, you go to bed, wake up have breakfast and we're playing again.
"Rather than game planning for each game, you just have a large game plan for how you're going to approach both games. You make some tweaks after the first game."
When he isn't tending goal, Maddock's day job is as a project manager for a finance company.
"As a project manager you are the quarterback of your project and being a goalkeeper you to be the quarterback," he said. "You have to see the whole field and everything that's going on. You've got to adjust your defense to what's happening in the same way if a problem arises [in business], and you have to adjust how you're going approach the project a little bit differently. I think there's good correlations between them."
Maddock has plenty on his plate. He has a wedding scheduled for June.
"Long time coming, but that's the biggest project that's going smoothly, hopefully," he said.
But for this particular purpose, Maddock's fiancé is the project manager.
"She's quarterbacking that one. I'm along for the ride," he said with a chuckle.