It’s a sunny, warm afternoon and kids are darting back and forth all over the lacrosse fields. Helmets that look too big for their heads rattle and shake as they sprint towards the goal. At the center of this chaotic, exciting game stands Kane Goodman, the goalie for Andover’s 5th grade lacrosse B team. But Goodman is no ordinary goaltender. He stands in the goal with a single crutch and a modified goalie stick.

Kane Goodman plays goalie for Andover's fifth-grade B team despite cancer that limits his mobility. (Courtesy Photo)
Kane Goodman plays goalie for Andover’s fifth-grade B team despite cancer that limits his mobility. (Courtesy Photo)

“Kane was born with a tumor wrapped around his spine, which caused paralysis in both his legs,” explains Tracy Goodman, Kane’s mother. “As parents, we are beyond proud that Kane has intense inner strength, a strong drive to compete in any physical competition, and the courage to put himself out there.”

Standing in that goal certainly does require some serious bravery. Players are whipping a dense, heavy ball at you all game. But this doesn’t faze Kane. “It always feels awesome making a save but I’m not afraid of stopping shots,” he explains. “My favorite part about goalie is first making saves and second knowing that my whole team needs me to play well and to win.”

This sense of courage and team spirit has even spread outside the limits of Kane’s fifth-grade team. Erik Aulbach, a player on Andover’s fourth-grade team, says, “I think what Kane is doing is really cool and brave. Goalie is scary and playing with a crutch must take skill.”

According to Coach Eagan, the coach of Kane’s fifth-grade team and the freshman team here at the high school, “If other goalies out there had half the guts that Kane does, they’d be All-Americans!”

And Kane certainly doesn’t let his disability hold him back on any of the sports fields. In the off-season he also plays baseball, sled hockey, and mono skis. Playing a total of four sports, Kane is actually more active than many other kids his age.

Kane’s story can serve as an inspiration for us all. He truly demonstrates that nothing can hold you back unless you let it, and that perseverance and heart will always prevail.

By Ben Riley