Older brother's counsel contributed to Gvozden's rise at Hofstra
Hofstra junior goalie Andrew Gvozden has enjoyed a breakout season, leading his Division I peers in goals-against average (5.70) and ranking second in save percentage (.621).
Gvozden, a Severna Park native and graduate, has rebounded from a sophomore campaign in which he split 14 starts with then-freshman Rob Bellairs, giving cause for analysts to question the strength of the Pride’s candidacy to challenge for the national championship.
Gvozden said his acclimation to playing in the cage was accelerated by conversations with his older brother Michael, who was a three-year starting goalkeeper for Johns Hopkins from 2008-10.
“He kind of prepped me going into it, about all of the pressure, how different it was from high school ball, and how it’s more based on your reactions and your body positioning rather than just talent alone,” Andrew Gvozden said. “So he really prepped me more on the mental aspects of being a college goalie.”
Michael Gvozden, the defensive coordinator for the Loyola Marymount men’s club lacrosse team and an assistant coach for the Beverly Hills High School girls lacrosse team, said his conversations with his brother were rooted in his experience in his final year with the Blue Jays when he made the team’s first eight starts before giving way to then-freshman Pierce Bassett.
“I think he benefited a lot from what happened to me,” Michael Gvozden said. “The way things ended for me helped put things in perspective for him. We talk about that all the time, and I am so proud of the kid. It’s great seeing somebody who wasn’t highly touted coming out of high school, who wasn’t highly touted when he got recruited and now he’s just blowing up.”
Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said Andrew Gvozden, who previously played in the shadow of his older brother, has garnered his own spotlight.
“He’s a guy who comes from Severna Park, and I think some people had questions of him because at that point in time, he wasn’t Andrew Gvozden. He was Mike Gvozden’s little brother,” Tierney said. “Now he’s Andrew Gvozden, and I think Michael Gvozden is Andrew’s older brother. The fact remains that they’re two very talented goalies who have had two good careers and experiences, but they’re two different people.”
Andrew Gvozden will try to help the Pride defeat Johns Hopkins on Saturday in an NCAA tournament first-round game. But he dismissed any notion that he is seeking to punish the Blue Jays for their treatment of his older brother.
“I’m not putting it as me trying to beat my brother’s alma mater or anything like that,” Andrew Gvozden said. “I am excited to go home and get to play in front of my friends and family. The last time I was there was the first time I ever played against my brother. So I always wanted to get another shot to play there. So I’m thrilled.”