As we continue with our Alumni Spotlight project we turn our attention the men's lacrosse program and one of the best defensemen to come through the program, Al Golod '10. Al was part of a class and era here at Dickinson that laid the foundation and helped pave the way to the ultimate success the program has achieved since.
Al grew up in Cold Spring Harbor, New York on Long Island and jumped into the lacrosse community at an early age, beginning to play lacrosse as a second grader. He would go on to play at Cold Spring Harbor High School where he excelled, catching the attention of multiple college programs and coaches, including Head Coach Dave Webster of Dickinson College. Up until that initial recruiting letter arrived in the mail Al had never heard of Dickinson but that all would change during the course of his recruiting process.
"My mom was very adamant about responding to every letter I got," Al said with a chuckle. "So I responded and that followed up with a phone call that was very productive and he said everything I wanted to hear at that time, so we decided to take a visit."
Al remembers that while he felt a connection with Coach Webster, it was really his parents, who felt the bond and knew they would be leaving their son with someone who wasn't just focused on sports but also focused on life after sports and their son's professional career after Dickinson.
There was certainly a "lacrosse culture shock," as Al termed it, when he arrived here in Carlisle, Pennsylvania coming from a state championship team his senior year to a program that was very much building. However, Al and that first-year class got the chance to play right away and realized they could be the group to help change the mentality and culture within the program to get Dickinson lacrosse into contention within the Centennial Conference.
During the course of his four years Al and his teammates saw the growth and shift in culture amongst the Red Devils as the program continued to climb in talent and most importantly wins. "We decided to be really passionate and hold people accountable and it kind of worked," Al said. That mentality helped carry the program to new heights and in 2010. It brought the Red Devils within one goal of advancing to the Centennial Conference Championship and helped them earn an at-large bid into the program's first NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament appearance.
Now working in New York City, Al reflects back on the lessons that Coach Webster taught him and his teammates all those years ago. "Do what you say you will do, be honest, and don't cut corners," Al Said. "Those were the lessons and principles that Coach Webster, or I guess I call him Dave now, instilled in us as young men and I still use today."
Al also is involved heavily in the alumni network for the men's lacrosse program and understands the value it has with the current student-athletes and in particular the men's lacrosse seniors. "Dave does an exceptional job at keeping us all together," Al said. "While you all played lacrosse at the same place, you may live in a city with 20-30 guys you don't know because they may have been five years ahead of you." Meanwhile, Al also knows and understands the benefit of the New York trip to helping the seniors attain jobs and or internships. "I wish we had it when I was here, but the seniors get a really good taste of the various fields and careers they can pursue."
From helping change a culture to continuing to live by the values and lessons instilled in him as a young man by Coach Webster, Al has used everything Dickinson offered him to help him excel in his career, be the best man he can in his personal life, and help continue to be a positive impact on the Dickinson men's lacrosse family by giving back to those who now wear the same uniform he once did.
He was recognized as an All-Conference selection as a junior and senior, named a team captain and the team's Defensive MVP in 2010, earning an invitation to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrossse Association North/South Senior All-Star Game. The team earned a Centennial Conference playoff berth in 2007 and advanced to the conference championship game in 2010, making that first NCAA appearance and posting the program's first NCAA Tournament win. The Red Devils jumped out to an 8-0 start, setting the school record for consecutive wins. They set another school record for wins in as season with a 15-3 record and were ranked as high as fifth in the nation. A truly outstanding defensive player, he finished with 192 ground balls and forced 83 turnovers.
To view Al's interview in his entirety with Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing & Administration Justin Farrell, click on the video below.