Friday’s edition of the paper included a Q&A with Maryland redshirt junior goalkeeper Niko Amato. Due to space constraints, here are some more answers that didn’t make the cut.
UMBC coach Don Zimmerman said one of the more potent aspects of your game involves your ability to turn a save into a transition chance. Is that a facet of your game that you’ve been honing?
I think that’s always been a part of my game. I like to throw the ball a lot. It’s fun when you start transition. You get to feel like you’re playing a little bit of offense. I have great teammates like [senior long-stick midfielder] Jesse Bernardt and [junior short-stick defensive midfielder] Brian Cooper and all the other poles are really talented at handling the ball. If I’m able to make the save, I know that my teammates are going to be breaking out for me, and as long as I can get them the ball, they’re going to make great decisions in transition.
What kind of mindset does it take to try to stop a ball traveling 100 miles per hour?
I think just overall confidence. Confidence and forgetfulness. You don’t want to go in there thinking you can’t stop the shot. That can fire up a team, and I try to bring that every day because if you get down, your team is going to see that and they’re not going to be able to play as hard if they don’t believe in you. I just try to have an unbreakable confidence each time I go out there. If they make their first couple shots, so be it. I try to forget it and try to make the next big play for the team or do whatever it takes to make the team better. But you’ve got to stay hungry. Just because you had a successful game in the past doesn’t mean that you’re going to have another one.
Does it help to be a little crazy?
I’m not sure about that. I don’t know if I’m crazy. I think I’m pretty normal. You’d have to ask some of the other guys.
Have you ever had an injury from playing goalie?
Not seriously, thankfully. I’ve come away from games and practices with pain, but I’ve been pretty fortunate throughout my career that I’ve never broken anything. I’ve been pretty durable.
Where’s the worst spot you’ve been hit by a shot?
I’ve been hit in the cup, my thumb, my leg, you name it. I’ve been playing goalie since eighth grade. So over the course of a career, you’ve been hit pretty much everywhere. You’ve just got to get in there again and keep going.