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Word Count: 991
In the Line of Fire Sometimes it takes the most painful circumstances to remind us Lurking beneath the joy of sports are the risks of sports There may be no sport where these risks are more apparent then in lacrosse and there may be no position in which these risk are more dangerous then that of a lacrosse goalie It was a pre-season game between two perennial powerhouses from Long Island Northport and West Islip High School Louis Acompora a 14-year-old freshman was in goal for Northport and after blocking a shot with his chest and attempting to clear the ball he collapsed Louis was dead within seconds The shear horror of the incident sent shivers through the lacrosse world and into the living room of every family whose son dares to take his place in the cage Some people think Acomporas death was an accident that was part of the normal risk of the game But others believe goalies are more vulnerable then they should be They fear these players are insufficiently protected They whisper that this was a tragedy waiting to happen So the question begs to be asked just how vulnerable is a goalie Consider this a high school pitcher stands 20 yards from the plate and typically delivers a baseball at 70 to 75mph His catcher is armored with a helmet a facemask throat guard thick chest protector plastic athletic supporter and shin guards that rise from the top of the cleats to the thighs A lacrosse goalies job is to stop shots from any distance three yards five yards seven yards 15 yards shots that travel anywhere from 80 to 100mph Imagine a pitcher throwing a 95mph fastball from 5 yards away it would be virtually impossible to catch So based on the laws of common sense and logic you would assume lacrosse goalies are very heavily padded But in actuality they dont wear much more then anyone else
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