Veteran Flessner Helps Guide Freshman Le Beau
Coaches sometimes use the term “it’s a good problem to have.” For example, if the manager of a baseball team has too many quality starting pitchers for a five-man rotation, or a football coach has an aging franchise quarterback and a young up-and-coming star at the same position. These are good problems to have, but are still problems.
Coach Bill Harris of the Fordham Water Polo team can relate to these scenarios. He has two standout goalies, Christian Flessner and Noah Le Beau, on his roster. The only problem is there is only one net to defend.
It could have been the beginning of a bitter rivalry; senior vs. freshman, proven talent against top recruit. Jealousy over playing time could have had a major effect on the entire team’s chemistry and their play in matches. However, the exact opposite has happened this season, and Flessner has taken this opportunity to ensure that Fordham’s net will be well defended after he graduates.
“Christian has handled this all very well and he was mentored by Timmy Will when he was a freshman and now he is doing the same for Noah. I knew Noah was going to be good for us because he came from a high level club with a lot of experience. Christian has been such a positive influence for Noah and it definitely helps the team in practice to have two top-notch goalies,” remarked Coach Harris.
Flessner has been one of the best goalies in Fordham’s history as he has notched two of the top three marks for saves in a season in team history. He currently holds the record with 266 saves, set last year. However, Flessner has a unique modesty, and comedic, attitude towards his resume.
“Yeah that record does not really mean too much. Most of the time a goalie only makes a save when the defense screws up, so I guess the defense screwed up a lot last year” he jokingly said. “But I am definitely not the best goalie in Fordham’s history.”
Even though Flessner might be kidding, his track record still shows that he has been a defensive force at the net for the Rams. And the transition to splitting time with a freshman could be hard for any veteran to handle (take Jorge Posada for example). However, the senior has handled the change in playing time with class.
“I love Noah he’s a great guy and I just can’t get mad at him because he’s just so good at everything he does. But yeah I have loved taking him under my wing.”
It also helps when the person he’s splitting time with is a class act as well. Noah Le Beau came in with all of the credentials to be a starting goalie, but he sure does not act like it.
“I knew that it would be a different level of play here and I was not too sure what to expect as far as playing time. The level of play here is much higher and the guys are bigger, faster, and stronger. But Christian shows me what it means to be a dominant leader in and out of the net and he’s been great to me.”
Does the young goalie think he has a shot of breaking Flessner’s saves record however?
“Yes” he replied quickly, with a big smile.
It appears that regardless of who’s guarding the net for Fordham, it will be defended well and with class.