Goodier rises through ranks for Generals
MOUNT JACKSON — Last season, Adam Goodier didn’t start much for Stonewall Jackson’s boys soccer team. He was typically one of the first players off the bench for the Generals, but even coach Caleb Golladay admits that Goodier sometimes didn’t get as much playing time as Stonewall’s coaching staff would’ve liked.
But during the time Goodier had on the pitch during his junior season, he wowed Golladay with his hustle and determination. And more importantly, Goodier was gaining the feel for what it took to be successful at the varsity level after playing three seasons on Stonewall Jackson’s JV squad.
“When I got more starting time it just, varsity is a whole [different] level from JV so it really was a step up from what I used to,” Goodier, now a senior, said after practice recently. “I think it was just playing on a varsity level and playing with better people just made me a better person, made me a better player.”
By the end of the season last spring, Golladay was raving about how Goodier had blossomed on the pitch and Golladay said Goodier’s goal in Stonewall’s 2-1 loss to Riverheads in the Region 2A East quarterfinals gave the head coach a good look at what the future held in store for the Generals.
But Goodier actually made his initial impression on Golladay early in the 2014 season during a road game at Millbrook.
“It was a 3-0 loss for us but at the same time that was the first time that I put Adam in as a forward,” Golladay recalled. “And that game he, out of all the guys, just kept going after the ball. He’d get through guys and just his effort to go after that ball was something that he showed that he could do.”
Goodier ended up starting a few matches late last season as injuries opened the opportunity and he has carried that starting role into the 2015 season for the Generals.
In fact, Goodier’s effort and his openness to Golladay’s instruction prompted the third-year coach to name Goodier a team captain during the bus ride to Nelson County for the Generals’ season opener on March 24.
Goodier, one of three seniors on this season’s team, is Stonewall’s lone captain.
“He’s kind of been the one guy that stood out to me,” Golladay said. “He’s consistent at practice. Yeah, we all have our ups and downs in practice at the beginning of the season just getting back in shape and getting our touches. But after that he’s gotten his touches, he’s gotten everything that he needs to get. He’s definitely led the team vocally and by showing on the field how he plays. He’s definitely not one of those guys that sits back and lets something happen without stepping in and trying to fix it.”
Goodier didn’t always have that assertiveness on the pitch, however. Golladay said Goodier was a “very timid guy” during the early part of his high school career — not necessarily shy, but someone who didn’t make his voice heard very often.
All of that changed toward the end of last season.
“Now he stands out,” Golladay said. “He demands respect. He demands the ball in the field. And just the way that he’s come out of his shell toward the end of last year, and even this year at the beginning of the year, is something that’s very good and is going to help us a lot this season.”
Goodier, who finished with four goals for Stonewall in 2014 (he scored three in a win over Luray last April), had yet to score a goal in the Generals’ first two games this season, but he did tally an assist in Stonewall’s home win over Nelson County last Tuesday and he said he’s made an effort to take more shots during games.
“My accuracy is still not perfect and I’m usually more of an assister than a scorer,” Goodier said, “but I have gotten better at taking shots and getting goals.”
Goodier’s greatest asset, however, might just be his versatility. He played primarily as a defender in JV before being moved to forward last season and he’s also played midfield, his favorite position of the three.
Goodier is listed as a forward again this season, but has already been called upon to switch positions during a match this spring. An injury to one of Stonewall’s defenders in last Tuesday’s match necessitated that Goodier move to the back line, where he helped the Generals’ defense lock down the shutout against Nelson County.
“Usually when I play soccer I’ve been the person that they just stick where they need to put somebody,” said Goodier, who has been playing soccer since he was 5 years old. “So I’ve done that in the past, so it wasn’t anything new when I had to do it this year.”
Golladay said he’s comfortable putting Goodier anywhere on the pitch (though he hasn’t tried the senior at goalkeeper), and he knows that wherever he puts Goodier he’s going to get the senior’s maximum effort. That’s a large bonus for a young team hoping to keep up Stonewall’s recent string of success after the program graduated 18 players — including all-time leading scorer Roberto Cardoso Jr. — over the last two years.
“For as long as I’ve known him, he’s definitely been a good kid,” Golladay said. “Definitely a good guy to hang around with. Keeps his grades up. Like I said, he stands out on and off the field, whether that’s doing the right things, having respect for his teachers, his coaches, anybody that he’s around. Just a very respectful kid and he does what he needs to do to get the job done.”
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org