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Playing the Field: Biz Goslee

The Marquette junior has emerged as a leader on the school’s fledgling lacrosse team

May. 7, 2015
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Courtesy of Marquette Athletics

In Playing the Field, we profile women who are making an impact in the world of sports, either in competition or behind the scenes. For this installment, we spoke with Marquette lacrosse star Biz Goslee.

Finishing the collegiate women’s lacrosse season with a 5-12 record, the same one the team carried the previous season, wasn’t how Marquette junior Biz Goslee had hoped things would go.

Then again, little has gone according to any sort of plan in Goslee’s life over the past few years, so she’s learned to plan less, enjoy each moment more and take as much away from every experience has she can. “I’ve learned to just take it practice by practice and game by game and see how things go,” Goslee says. “If opportunities come up, then I take them on.”

The Marquette women’s lacrosse team is in just its third year of existence. Goslee, who played lacrosse in high school but didn’t start to get serious about the game until the final two years, wasn’t recruited to play collegiately, despite sending around highlight videos. She’d just about given up when she was wandering a college fair wearing her high school’s lacrosse sweatshirt. A quick-thinking Marquette rep spotted Goslee’s top and let her know the school would be starting a brand new program the next year. Goslee was put in touch with Marquette coach Meredith Black and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind for Goslee ever since.

“Biz is a true competitor,” Black said via email. “(Her) biggest strength is her hustle and her work ethic. In all my time coaching her, I have never seen her give anything less than 100%. She never takes a break. It could be a shooting drill that doesn’t fully pertain to her position and she is going as hard as she can and giving it her all. That is the difference between Biz and some other athletes. Some athletes take breaks, but not Biz. A break would never cross her mind.”

In summer 2014, Goslee was invited to a Team USA camp and was named to the US National Team Roster. She was one of two players who were freshmen or sophomores in the season prior to making the team. She was the only player to have played in the Big East and one of just three squad members to have played outside the ACC.

A new US squad is formed every year, so Goslee will continue to have to try out, but making this team is the first step in being able to compete with Team USA in the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Women's World Cup in Surrey, England. USA are the two-time defending champions. They’ve won seven of the nine World Cups that have been completed.

Playing on the brand new Marquette squad that has struggled to win versus playing with Team USA provides contrasting experiences for Goslee. The transition from team leader to new kid allows her to access her depth as a player and leader.

“Here I am more of a leader and on the US team I’m more of a listener,” she said. “I kind of feel like a freshman (with the National Team). I’m very new to the program, new to the system. It’s a little overwhelming at first, but it’s just another way that I can learn from older and wiser players. Just watching them play is a learning experience for me. It’s just something I can bring back in to my leadership role here and hopefully be able to teach the younger girls.”

Though starting a program from scratch has been a slow process and the end of game results haven’t been what Goslee and her teammates hoped, she said it’s taught her to take pride in the small successes.

But despite the difficulty of getting a program off the ground, coach Black points out that success stories like Goslee’s are the reward.

“Starting a team from scratch has had many challenges, but its players like Biz that make it all worth it,” Black says. “When I get to see a player develop from a raw athlete to a top Division I lacrosse player, it is quite possibly the most rewarding feeling in the world. Biz is one reason why this program will go places. She has set the tone for what Marquette Lacrosse is all about. She has been an incredible leader and representative of the program. Everything that she has done and brought to us is what Marquette Lacrosse is all about. She has built the foundation for our future.”

There’s a saying that goes “You’re planting the seeds of a tree whose shade you may never sit under.” While they may not be seeing the score-board results, Goslee and her teammates are laying the foundation for not only the Golden Eagles of the future, but for women’s lacrosse in Milwaukee and in the Midwest.

“I think we definitely learned something from each game,” said Goslee. “We’ve had the same girls on the team, so each of us have grown individually a huge amount. Whether we had the wins or not, we definitely learned in each game what we can do better ... The thing that Coach Black has stressed is that it’s a process. It’s really frustrating to grasp that concept, especially when you really want to win and some things just don’t click right away for the team. It’s very rewarding when we do get the small victories or when we do get a win because we’ve worked so hard to get that. It can be frustrating at times. It is rewarding and it’s exciting to start that for the future.”

There might not be another collegiate women’s sport that gets less attention than lacrosse, especially in the Midwest. There’s no option for post-collegiate professional play and to keep in shape for the national team, Goslee would like need to become a coach and live in an area where she can find pick-up games. But Goslee seems to have found her niche in lacrosse. She didn’t grow up playing and it wasn’t her first-choice sport, despite having two older sisters who played. But the fact that she wasn’t the best is one of the reasons she was attracted to lacrosse.

“Lacrosse wasn’t something that I was good at right away,” she said. “It was something that I kept working to get better at. I still don’t think I’m the best player that (I can be). I still think at every practice and every game there are things I can work on.”

It’s the challenge, the desire to be great and leave her mark that drives Goslee. Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the country and being able to be a part of growing the sport and helping it spread is something that appeals to her. Hosting post-game clinics and meeting with other young players leaves Goslee hopeful for the future of lacrosse in Milwaukee.

But in the end, it’s the satisfaction; the joy and the passion that drive Goslee and make her continue to push to improve.

“If you ask any athlete why they play, it’s for the love of the game and the love of competition,” she said. “Beating someone on defense. Getting a ground ball. Just a lot of the things that come from being in a sport: being on a team and celebrating your teammates’ victories. I think that’s what I love the most about it. And being able to represent something that’s bigger than myself, whether it’s Marquette or the USA, it’s a huge honor to be able to be a part of something like that.”

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