After being named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year last season, sophomore Johna Goff is looking to go above and beyond her rookie accomplishments.
A native of Fortville, Ind., Goff has been given the role of starting point guard by new head coach Tracy Roller, and she looks to handle being a leader to the best of her abilities this season.
"I see my role as a leader," Goff says. "(As point guard) I have to work hard everyday and be positive. Everybody looks to you and you can't be negative."
Although she holds the distinction of being the only athlete in Ball State women's basketball history to be named MAC Freshman of the Year, Goff is not holding on to last year's success.
"With this award, I look back at it and say 'Great,' but I need to take the next step," Goff said. "I'm not cocky. I always think I can do better. I always feel there is something I can do to improve."
Goff has had an entire year to build upon, as expectations of her sophomore campaign have gotten greater. Last season she led all MAC reserves and freshmen in scoring with a 14.1 scoring average and poured in 20+ point efforts on six different occasions. With such a great year to improve upon, she says she feels a little pressure to progress.
"Right now, it's a lot different with a lot of expectations," Goff said. "Last year, I made 'freshman mistakes' and I never used it as an excuse. (This time around) it's a lot harder. Everyone expects a lot when you do good."
For the upcoming season, Goff has high hopes for the team. Her own goals are team-oriented, hoping to focus on making personal improvements for the sake of the team.
"As a team, I think that we should win the division and compete in the MAC tournament if not win it. We have the team to do it. It's just a matter of everybody staying together," she said. "I want to come out with goals for every day, and not goals at the end of the season."
Despite high levels of anticipation of what she will do this year, she has welcomed the challenge. Goff credits her success last year to the people she played with, along with the coaches, and sees no problem in getting more out of herself because of them.
"I feel privileged just to play," Goff said. "I can't (be successful) without my teammates or coaches. I never would've been freshman of the year if not for them. (My teammates) made me better. The coaches pushed me hard."
Goff said the honors she received give her confidence, but she also recognizes the pressure they place upon her.
"I know that I need to work harder to maintain that level of success."