U.S. U20 Goalie Liam Entenmann Evolving as a Leader Between the Pipes


Liam Entenmann has become an integral part of the U.S. U20 team, which is scheduled to play in the world championship next July.

Liam Entenmann should have been standing between the pipes for the U.S. team during the World Lacrosse Men’s U19 World Championship in Limerick, Ireland last July. While the COVID-19 pandemic put that dream on hold, Entenmann faced a different kind of daunting competition closer to home. 

Entenmann, the sophomore goalie at Notre Dame, stared down shots from Rob Pannell, Justin Guterding, Matt Kavanagh and a smattering of other Long Island lacrosse superstars when they convened at the Rockville Centre Sports Complex for informal training sessions before the Premier Lacrosse League Championship Series. 

The Chaminade (N.Y.) grad did more than hold his own. He turned away several of their best offerings and turned more than a few heads. 

“I was really impressed with the way Liam tried to learn what I was seeing when I was shooting, and you could tell through our scrimmage that he is an awesome competitor,” said Guterding, an attackman for the PLL’s Chrome and the NCAA’s all-time leading goal-scorer.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster,” Entenmann said. “If I can stop their shots, I can stop anyone’s.” 

The inverse happens for those tasked with scoring on him. 

“Personally I can’t stand shooting on the kid, because it kills my confidence as a shooter,” said Pat Kavanagh, Entenmann’s teammate at Chaminade, Notre Dame and now with the U.S. U20 team. “Other kids on our Notre Dame team could vouch for me on that. He ruins a lot of kids’ confidence.” 

Entenmann’s understanding of the position has evolved since he first stepped inside the crease for Massapequa (N.Y.) youth lacrosse. (The first shot he saw hit his ankle and made him cry.)  He devours film of top pros like Kyle Bernlohr, Tim Troutner and Jack Concannon then tries to incorporate elements of their styles into his game. At 6-foot-2 and 192 pounds with a knack for making dazzling saves on the doorstep, Entenmann bears the closest resemblance to Concannon. 

But Entenmann’s tutelage goes beyond watching. After a post by Bernlohr on the PLL’s website in 2019 about the mental aspect of playing goalie, he hunted down the Whipsnakes goalie’s phone number from a friend. Entenmann picked Bernlohr’s brain via text about the nuances of the position. 

Entenmann was the No. 1 goalie in the high school class of 2019, according to Inside Lacrosse, but he wasn’t always so heralded. He said he was “under the radar” for the majority of his high school career. Even though he committed to Notre Dame as a sophomore, he had to wait until his senior year to become the Chaminade starter. 

Entenmann had earned rave reviews for his communication skills and how much he demanded from his defenses on the summer circuit after his junior year. And although he made the all-tournament team at the Under Armour underclassmen tournament and Goalie MVP at Paul Rabil and Mark Millon’s Project 9 event leading up to his senior season, Entenmann believes the delayed recognition taught him how to have patience and fueled his competitive nature. Once he had the spotlight on him, he knew he had to show up. 

“You never had to worry about Liam being ready to play,” Chaminade coach Jack Moran said. “He’s one of those confidence builders, a guy that makes everyone around him want to be as intense and pay as much attention to detail as he does.” 

That confidence carried over to U.S. U19 tryouts two summers ago. By the second weekend, Entenmann was a lock. Not only did he make a couple more saves than everyone else at US Lacrosse’s Tierney Field in Sparks, Md., but he nailed every question during their film sessions too. 

“That’s what really separated him,” U.S. coach Nick Myers said. “He was really starting to take command of our defense.” 

Entenmann continued to demonstrate those traits as a true freshman starter in South Bend. He made 48 saves in five games with a 51.1-percent save percentage. His breakout came in a top-10 matchup at Maryland on Feb. 29. He faced 64 shots (30 on goal) and made 16 saves in a 14-9 loss to the Terps. 

“He was standing on his head,” Kavanagh said. 

While Entenmann might have made a name for himself during that game, he gets no shortage of questions about his last name.

 “It’s the exact same spelling, but there’s absolutely no relation,” he clarified with a laugh about the baked goods company that’s also based out of Long Island. “I’ve been asked that probably a thousand times now.” 

Although this past summer didn’t have the sweet ending he worked so hard for, Entenmann looks forward to reuniting with his U20 teammates. World Lacrosse postponed the event and reclassified it as a U20 competition July 17-26, 2021 in Limerick, Ireland. 

“It’s been a very long haul with this team,” he said. “Everyone wants to do what we came together to do.” 

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