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By: Nolan Plant

The All Goalie Team was a spur of the moment idea that has turned into a game bringing together all aspects of what Shootout for Soldiers is about; lacrosse, community, and our veterans. Mike Petrella is a goalie coach in Ohio whose family has deep connections to our military. During one of his weekly games, he overheard an ex-Ranger talking about Shootout for Soldiers and from that point Petrella wanted to be involved. Although he was too late to join a team last year, he made sure to get in touch with Ohio organizer Merry Troper in hope of finding a team in need of a 50+ year-old goalie. Petrella also offered up the goalies he coached to help fill rosters. “If you can get a team together, I’ll put you in” said Merry. Confused, Petrella soon realized what she had in mind, an all goalie team.

When asked why SFS, he was quick to respond. Him and his wife have had three family members fall for our country and have several more cousins, uncles, and grandparents serve. As he set up the team, he has learned about more goalies who have their own personal ties to the military.

“It seems like everyone has Vets in their family history” Petrella said.  “[Veterans] served, did their duty, and went back to civilian life without much fanfare.”

He can’t wait for the event and to meet the team he has put together through Twitter and local goalies he knows. However, he is most looking forward to the National Anthem.

“It may sound corny, but the reason SFS was put together was to honor and help Vets and being able to stand looking at the flag and know that I am helping them in the smallest of ways is awesome for me personally” said Petrella.

Petrella is hoping to accomplish a lot in the one hour time slot. “For the younger players, a sense of how amazing the people that serve the country really are in ‘normal’ life” Petrella said.

He wants his new team to build a connection for he believes goalies need to stick together. He wants a community of goalies that know each other and can revel in each other’s accomplishments. The team consists of male and female players ranging from the third grade to 50+ years old coming from 19 different schools and programs. Least to say, this team picture will be something to remember.