Landon Goguen, who first played goalie then moved to attack ... joined the Old Rochester varsity as a freshman, although thanks to hockey he already had two varsity sports seasons under his belt. Still, there was a little voice in his head wondering if he’d stick with lacrosse.

To think Landon Goguen almost quit lacrosse.

The 2017 Standard-Times Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year wasn’t exactly enamored with the game when he first picked it up in fifth grade.

It wasn’t until eighth grade when he decided to commit to the up-and-coming SouthCoast sport after his third season playing in ORYLAX.

“I didn’t really want to play at first,” he said. “I didn’t really like it for the first couple of years. I thought about quitting, but I decided to keep playing. I was decent at it.”

Old Rochester coach Justin Shay is among those thankful that Goguen didn’t desert.

“He has the best stickwork in the area, in terms of protecting the stick and putting himself in position to get the shot off,” Shay said. “He can fake like no one else I’ve seen. He moves the goalie.”

Goguen, who first played goalie then moved to attack despite the advice of his youth coach — “I didn’t want to take any shots off the body any more,” he says — joined the Bulldogs varsity as a freshman, although thanks to hockey he already had two varsity sports seasons under his belt. Still, there was a little voice in his head wondering if he’d stick with the sport.

“There was a little doubt freshman year, but after sophomore year not really,” Goguen said. “We did really well that year. That’s when I decided it was pretty fun.”

The Bulldogs reached the Div. 3 South Sectional Finals during Goguen’s sophomore year, beating Cardinal Spellman, Bourne and Archbishop Williams before falling 19-3 to Cohasset.

“It gave us something to shoot for the next two years,” he said. “That was pretty eye-opening. A little notice that you’re not that good.”

So Goguen came back out as a junior, scoring 52 goals and leading the Bulldogs back to the tournament, where they beat Tri-County before losing to Nantucket.

By then, Shay had noticed a maturation of Goguen’s game.

“I’ve coached Landon for many years now, from youth to senior year, and I’d have to say his development as a player, as a team player, was huge,” he said. “It used to be all about Landon, but now it’s about moving the ball around and making his teammates better.”

This season, Goguen finished second in the area in scoring with 69 points while leading the region in goals with 57.

“He probably could have had twice as many goals this year, but he was unselfish and we took him out of the game relatively early against some opponents,” Shay said.

Goguen first committed to American International College, where former teammate Hunter Cooney plays, but soon second-guessed himself. He had originally planned on majoring in environmental science, but as his interest shifted to business, he questioned if AIC was the right choice.

“I wanted to change my major and I wanted to go to a different school for that,” he said.

After a complicated de-commitment process that involved appeals, Goguen settled on Southern New Hampshire University.

“It should be fun,” he said. “I just want to play my game and play who I’ve always played and get better every day.”

Not bad for a kid who almost put down his stick five years ago.

— Follow Brendan Kurie on Twitter @BrendanKurieSCT

 

ABOUT LANDON GOGUEN

WHY HE WAS SELECTED: It was a close decision between Goguen, Bishop Stang attackman Riley Scales and Dartmouth goalie Neal Canastra. After talking with all the area coaches, Goguen was as close as there could be to a consensus, with almost every coach noting Cole Jacobsen may have been the best pure lacrosse player, but he only appeared in seven games due to injury. Goguen’s stickwork and relentless attacking style won him kudos from several South Coast Conference coaches.

KEY STATS: Goguen led the area in goals with 57, finishing second in points with 69, trailing only Scales, who finished with 75. In his career he scored 226 goals, including 52 as a junior. He’s a two-time South Coast Conference All-Star and was a Standard-Times Super Teamer as a junior.

MVP MOMENT: On April 29, he scored six goals, including his 200th career tally, in a 12-11 Old Rochester win over Dartmouth. The Bulldogs held on for the one-goal victory after leading 9-5 at halftime. After the game, coach Justin Shay was impressed enough by his performance to call Goguen “probably the best player in the SouthCoast.”

APPONEQUET COACH JEREMY NODELMAN: “He’s one of those players, very patient, who would take what the defense gave him. If he was doubled he found the open guy. If you isolated him he’d find the weakness of the defense and make it work for him. He had a good first step and a good finishing move. Size-wise, speed-wise, he put it all together. He wasn’t afraid to go through sticks and he protected the ball well and finished.”

NOTES: Will play at Southern New Hampshire next year, where he will be teammates and roommates with 2016 Standard-Times Player of the Year Cole Jacobsen as they join 2016 Super Teamer Tyler Mello and Bourne standout James Corsano. Also attending SNHU is his ORR hockey teammate Sam Henrie and Brett Strawn, the older brother of hockey teammate Noah Strawn. … Is the son of Paul, a manager at a trucking company, and Kim, who teaches at the Center School. He has three older siblings, Brennan, 25, Madison, 22 and Arden, 20. Brennan and Arden also attended ORR, while Madison went to Bishop Stang. The family lives in Mattapoisett. … Didn’t play a fall sport until he went out for football as a senior. … Was a 2016-17 Standard-Times Super Team selection in hockey.