August 23, 2017

After Growing Into a Star for PHS Boys’ Soccer, Goldsmith Primed to Begin Vassar College Career

SOLID GOLD: Andrew Goldsmith tracks the ball in a game last fall during his senior season for the Princeton High boys soccer team. After enjoying a stellar career for PHS, Goldsmith has moved on to the Vassar College men’s soccer program where he is currently taking part in preseason practice. Vassar starts its 2017 campaign when it hosts Western Connecticut State on September 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Over the course of his four seasons with Princeton High boys’ soccer team, Andrew Goldsmith grew into a leader and a top scorer.

In his senior campaign last fall, he served as a co-captain of the squad with Alex Ratzan and contributed 17 goals from his center midfield spot as PHS went 17-1-2 and shared the Mercer County Tournament title with the Pennington School.

“I would say the biggest thing is my confidence on the ball,” said Goldsmith, reflecting on the progress he made over his PHS career.

“In my freshman year playing with seniors, it would be like if someone passes me the ball, that is fine. As I kept getting older and got more confident, I went to go get the ball because I wanted it and I wanted make an impact on the game. With the confidence, I was able to make plays and do things for the team that I wasn’t able to do my freshman year.”

Now, Goldsmith is looking to help a new team as he is currently undergoing preseason training in preparation for his freshman season with the Vassar College men’s soccer program.

For Goldsmith, the road to Vassar began at the end of his freshman year when he started playing at college showcases and e-mailing coaches. He ended up narrowing his search to Division 3 programs, including several New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) schools, before deciding that Vassar was the right place for him.

“The soccer piece of it was a big deal because I clicked with the head coach, Andy Jennings, who is a really experienced guy,” said Goldsmith.

“He has coached the U20 English national team. The assistant coach Ross Macklin just played at Vassar, he graduated few years ago. He was a really good player, a center mid, and I made a good relationship with them. I really clicked with the guys on the team well; it was a really good fit. Another reason I chose Vassar was the quality of the soccer they play and how much they emphasized keeping the ball on the floor and playing good soccer.”

Off the field, Goldsmith saw special qualities in Vassar as well. “Maybe the most important thing is the collaborative environment and the community feel you get the second you arrive on campus,” said Goldsmith. “Everyone at Vassar wants you to strive and wants you to succeed.”

Since the end of his PHS career, Goldsmith has worked hard to enhance his chances of succeeding at the next level.

“During the winter, spring and even a little bit in the summer, I had training sessions with Stronghold SC,” said Goldsmith, referring to his club team.

“Mostly it has just been training on my own with a few guys. Alex Ratzan and I have been training very hard this summer. I have been playing with guys like Chris Harla, Pete Luther, Aidan Passannante, and Maxime Hoppenot. I have also been following the [Vassar] conditioning packet pretty strictly.”

Even before hitting the field at Vassar, Goldsmith had developed a bond with the guys with whom he will be playing.

“We have a group chat; we talk a lot with each other on fitness stuff and what we should work on,” said Goldsmith.

“That is something I have been really happy with. The captains have reached out to us ever since we got into the school. They have been really nice, always offering to help. They have connected us with all of the other guys on the team. I am really excited to get on campus and actually meet everyone in person.”

With preseason practices having started on August 19, Goldsmith is thrilled to finally reach his objective of playing college soccer.

“I have been looking forward to this since this has been my goal for a while now,” said Goldsmith.

“I have been working hard to do this and my family has helped me a lot. I am excited to accomplish it but I really haven’t accomplished much yet as I still need to prove myself once I get there. That is what I am most excited for, to play at the next level and really push myself and see what I can do for the team and how I can prove myself at the next level.”

As he enters his debut campaign, Goldsmith is looking to push hard for the Brewers, no matter what role he ultimately assumes.

“I am just looking to get on the field; they said I would be at center mid or outside back, primarily center mid,” said Goldsmith, who could see his first college action when Vassar hosts Western Connecticut State on September 1 in its season opener.

“That is where I am hoping for, but I would be happy playing anywhere to help out the team in any way possible.”