It’s impossible to miss Dakota goalie Andrue Isabey on the lacrosse field. Donning the MHSFLL’s boldest helmet – a shiny gold that glistens in the sun – and loud and charismatic on both the sidelines and during play, he’s a true one of one.
Not only does Isabey talk the talk, he walks the walk. Arguably the top netminder in Division 1, he provides the Lancers with a consistent presence in net while also contributing to the flow of the game on offence from time to time. It’s a luxury that Isabey – who has previous experience as a hockey goalie and is also a netminder for the Manitoba Blizzard’s junior B box lacrosse team – takes full advantage of.
“[Lacrosse] is a little more physical compared to hockey. You can play the ball more when it’s out of the net. You can set picks outside of the net and stuff, and contribute with goals and assists. Sometimes I throw the ball halfway down the field,” he chuckled.
“Playing goalie in field you can cross the center line, unlike box so I just use that to my advantage to get assists or try and shoot the ball.”
In the faster-paced style of box lacrosse, Isabey has to stay on his toes all of the time, not only because of the smaller dimensions inside, but also because he’s competing against athletes who are up to four years older than he is. Nonetheless, he does his job, and leads the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League with 150 saves while starting more games (12) than any other player in his position.
On the field, he’s directing traffic as the pace of play can be more methodical at times. It’s a responsibility that he thoroughly enjoys.
“In junior, it’s a lot more physical. I’m 17 and I’m playing against guys that are 18, 19, 20 and even 21. You just have to get in and gel with the older guys and figure stuff out as the season goes. In football, you have a quarterback. The goalie is the quarterback of the team for us. I just use my voice. I have a loud personality from my mom, so I just use that a lot when I’m on the field.”
The sport of lacrosse has given Isabey the opportunity to play at a high level and travel across Canada and to the states. The ride is far from over, as he’s received interest from JUCO, NCAA and NAIA schools throughout America for field LAX. It’s the next step for a standout athlete who’s fully immersed in his craft and hopes to one day make Team Canada.
“Travelling around to different provinces and even into the states has helped me meet new people. I have a couple of new friends from Ontario from when I went to two prospect camps there. Alberta, I have people that I know and same with Saskatchewan,” he said.
“I love the community. I even have friends on the First Nations. Every day I have a stick in my hand, that’s all I do. Lacrosse and school.”