Staying Tough Between the Posts
Oct. 12, 2005
By Julie Moses, Bucknell Athletic Communications
Doing her usual routine of tapping the upper cross bar on the goal cage three times and wearing the same black bandana she has worn since her freshman season in high school, senior captain Liz Jordan is ready for battle.
Facing the pressure of protecting the goal for her team, Jordan does her best to stay focused and relaxed, as she knows staying mentally on top of her game is a major key to being successful.
"Any goalkeeper faces a great deal of pressure just by the nature of the position. Often, especially in my case, the pressure comes from within," remarks Jordan. "I expect a lot from myself and if I have a bad game, it can really get to me. When I play in a game, I know I have to stay focused. The most challenging thing is to not over think the game, but just to play."
Growing up, Jordan was an enormous fan of ice hockey, but never seemed to be able to get involved with the sport, so her interest drifted to the game of field hockey. She quickly learned how to become tough between the posts.
"I have two much older brothers who used to tell me that if I wanted to play street hockey with them, I had to be the goalie and if I cried, I was not allowed to play anymore," says Jordan. "Playing with my brothers made me tough and fearless."
Jordan is now on her ninth year of playing the sport, yet surprisingly, she did not decide to play college field hockey until it was almost too late.
"I didn't really think that I wanted to play college hockey until the very end of my senior year season," says Jordan. "At that point, I knew I was extremely late in the recruiting process and would probably have a hard time finding a coach to take me."
After sending tapes to many colleges and universities who looked like they could use a keeper, including Bucknell, Jordan began to get frustrated and was close to giving up.
"Most coaches wrote me back saying that they were finished recruiting and they had no need for a keeper," she remarks. "I was resigned to the fact that I wasn't going to play in college until (Bucknell's head coach) Heather Lewis called me that February. She told me she needed a goalkeeper and asked if I wanted to play at Bucknell. Without so much as seeing the campus, I agreed."
The transition from high school to the Division-I level is never easy, and for Jordan, moving to Bucknell wasn't any different.
"When I showed up as a freshman I was extremely nervous to start playing," she says. "I knew that the competition would be a lot tougher than I was used to and it would be an adjustment to play on the collegiate level. I also had to adjust to bulkier equipment. I was lucky, however, to have a four-year starting keeper ahead of me to help me make the transition."
Now, as a senior, the Regional All-American and two-time All-Patriot League honoree shows much more confidence and is ready to take on the upcoming season.
"I am obviously more confident than I was as a freshman," says Jordan, "I know what to expect from the competition and I know what my own abilities are. I set the standard high for my level of play over the past two seasons, but I am confident that I will be able to succeed and hopefully help lead this year's team to more victories."
Jordan has an enormous desire to stay on the top of her game, which is evident to her coaches, teammates and opponents.
"No one wants to win more than Liz and she has demonstrated to her teammates and coaches the passion and determination necessary to excel," says Lewis. "She is well-respected within the league and opponents know they'll have to be at their best to score."
Although Jordan, a member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, chose Bucknell without even visiting the campus, she believes her decision was the right one.
"My experience here has been great so far," says Jordan. "I couldn't imagine my life without being able to play college hockey, and I am extremely blessed to be given the opportunity to be here."
For the upcoming season, Jordan looks to close her career at Bucknell with a winning record and postseason honors.