Goddard Providing Offence And Leadership And Veteran Presence For Merchants

By Sam Laskaris

Though the Merchants Lacrosse Club has had its ups and downs in the early portions of the regular season, it shouldn’t come as a surprise one of its key performers is among the league’s top point getters. Dylan Goddard not only led the Oshawa-based Merchants in scoring a year ago but he also finished atop the points race in the entire Ontario Series Lacrosse (OSL). Goddard averaged five points per game during the 2018 campaign, racking up 65 points (28 goals and 37 assists) in 13 outings.

As for this season, Goddard was in a three-way tie for third place in OSL scoring as of Wednesday morning. He had earned 20 points, including a league-high 15 assists, in five contests. Goddard was just one point behind his Merchants’ teammate Austin Murphy and two points back of Oakville Titans’ forward Eddie Renaud, who had 22 points.

Goddard, one of the Merchants’ assistant captains, maintains he’s not one who is keeping close tabs on the OSL scoring race. “I don’t like talking about points,” he said. “I never worry about numbers. I just care about winning a championship.” As his personal stats indicate, Goddard gets just as much satisfaction, if not more, by setting up his teammates than scoring goals himself. “I like to pride myself on finding someone open,” he said. “And I get upset with myself if I don’t hit someone (with a pass).”

Merchants’ head coach Jason Crosbie has high praise for his star forward. “He just sees the floor so well,” Crosbie said. “And he’s so unselfish, a bit too much at times.” Goddard though will in all likelihood continue to look for a perfect pass instead of shooting himself. “I figure there’s going to be someone on the floor that has a better chance to score than I do,” said Goddard, a Whitby native who now lives in Oshawa.

Though he can rely on him for offensive leadership, Crosbie realizes Goddard will continue to lead by example with his play and not with his words. “He’s a very, very quiet guy,” Crosbie said. “His emotions don’t get too high or too low.” But Crosbie has noticed a bit of a change in the 27-year-old Goddard recently. “He’s getting older now so I see him teaching the younger guys,” Crosbie said. “He’s showing them the intricacies of the sport and telling them things like if I go here then you go there.” As expected, Goddard is not getting himself too worked up over the high and lows the Merchants have already experienced early on this season.

His squad registered three straight victories to start off the year. But the Merchants lost back-to-back home contests this past Friday (8-5 against the Oakville Titans) and Saturday (13-6 versus the Six Nations Rivermen). “I think we’re doing well,” Goddard said of his squad’s fortunes thus far. “This past weekend though we had a problem putting the ball into the net.”

Goddard and his Merchants’ teammates return to action on Friday when they host the Owen Sound North Stars. The opening faceoff at Children’s Arena is set for 8:30 p.m.