Chat with Inside Lacrosse
Notre Dame's Ryan Hoff and Duncan Swezey will join the Inside Lacrosse chat. The Irish host North Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Send your questions now and join Inside Lacrosse Friday at 1 p.m. ET.
You guys have a big game this weekend against UNC. How have you guys prepared for it? Your Dartmouth game was very fast paced and that's something UNC likes to do as well. How do you think this game will be?
Duncan Swezey (1:00 PM)
This has been a really strenuous week on us both physically and mentally. Next week is spring break so a lot of us have had mid terms to worry about along with preparing for the #3 team in the country. We have really had to focus during practice to get ready for North Carolina, they have some very athletic and skilled players and everyone has been working really hard watching film and preparing for the things they do.
Ryan Hoff (1:01 PM)
We prepare for a game like this just like any other. The first few days are all about us. We go over film from the past game and look to see where we can improve. Than the first day or two we really focus on ourselves. As the week goes on we start to look at UNC's personnel and their action on the field. I'm not sure how this game will be compared to our other games. Dartmouth turned out to be fast paced, I think with a team like UNC it is important to find a good balance of game speed. Our last few meetings have been pretty close.
Jon Brand (1:02 PM)
Ok, we're underway with Duncan and Ryan...leave your questions and we'll get to them.
Is it true that Kevin Cullinane has the sickest underhand rip on the team? I heard Scott Rodgers cant touch it
Duncan Swezey (1:02 PM)
Kev Cully definitely brings the noise from low to high. He loves to break ankles and sprinkle underhand rips on big Scott Rodgers. The question is...does "The Sprinkler" keep is eyes open???
Ryan Hoff (1:03 PM)
From what I know, Kevin "The sprinkler" Cullinane (He makes it rain) has a nice underhand rip. The other day in practice I heard he torched one top corner from up top on scotty. He also might be closing his eyes, we're not sure.
How did you guys get started playing lax?
Duncan Swezey (1:03 PM)
I actually started when I was in about 4th grade. I loved how fast paced it was and how much lacrosse was like basketball and soccer, two sports I already played. However, my mom was big into baseball and I had to stop playing till I reached 8th grade. My high school team turned lacrosse into a varsity sport my freshman year so I thought it would be cool to get started back up again. I was kind of getting bored with baseball and wanted something faster so I got back into lacrosse.
Ryan Hoff (1:05 PM)
Well I grew up in Maryland where everyone starts at a really young age. My parents had no clue what it was (because they were from Chicago) so when my older brother was 5 and wanted to start playing, they didn't know what they were getting in to. Like any younger brother, I wanted to do what my brother did so I started playing at about 3- when my bro was 5 Supposedly I didn't like it that much early on because I wasn't that good, but my dad made me stick with it. I ended up sticking with it and falling in love with it after only a little while of playing I think from that point on I had the stick in my hand every single day, and turned into the laxrat that I am today
Brian in DC
Why is Scott Rodgers called 'steak'? Love the blog btw.
Ryan Hoff (1:06 PM)
Thanks a lot, we have a lot of fun writing it. Scotty was named "Steak" freshman year because he was such a big guy at 6'4" 250+ lbs. He was also a pretty big meathead, but there was already a senior on the team with the nickname "Meat." I believe it was either Matt Karweck or Dan Hickey (both seniors when we were freshman) that dubbed him "Steak." Those seniors came up with some incredible nicknames over our first year, but "Steak" was probably the best and the one that is still used the most.
Duncan Swezey (1:06 PM)
Well freshman year our senior class thought it was crazy how big Scotty was. Scotty, 6'4" 250 lbs is big dude and he needs a lot of food to keep all those muscles working correctly. I don't know which seniors it was that came up with the name, Matt Karweck or Dan Hickey, but one day they just started calling him "Steak" and it has been with him ever since.
Jon Brand (1:09 PM)
You can check out their blog at InsideLacrosse.com by pasting this URL into your browser: http://tinyurl.com/aphzbh ...
How was the experience playing down here in GA against Loyola?
Duncan Swezey (1:11 PM)
Atlanta is a great venue to play a Division One lacrosse game. The atmosphere down there last year against Dartmouth was great and this year was no different. The fans are loud and the weather is most of the time wonderful (besides the Tornadoes we had to deal with last year). It is always fun to play at a neutral site of a growing lacrosse hotbed. Great lacrosse players are popping up all over the country besides the normal hot beds like our boy, the "Southern Sensation" Neil Hicks. It is nice to play with players from different states and get to know their different styles of play.
Ryan Hoff (1:11 PM)
Nick, it was a real great experience. We love playing in a lot of these "non-hotbed" areas as they call them. The field was great, the school let us use all their great facilities, and the crowd was huge as well as really into the game. Everytime there was a turnover or great play the crowd went nuts. I think that adds a lot to an already really close game. Dunc and I are both seniors, but I'm sure ND will continue it's tradition of playing in a lot of these areas. Hotlanta was definitely a great experience. As long as the tornadoes stay away, it's a great place to play. It's also fun when "The southern Sensation" Neal Hicks gets to play in front of a home crowd. We also have another Georgia native in freshman Andrew Gleason. So I'm sure its especially exciting for them.
Tim, Washington, DC
Do you guys have a bagpiper lead you onto the field again this year?
Ryan Hoff (1:14 PM)
Yeah, for the past three years it's been our classmate Regis McDermott. He is a senior this year, so he will have to pass the tradition down to one of the young guys. From what we know, it is most likely going to be freshmen Nick Beattie or Colton Van Power that take over when Regis leaves. Before Regis, it was Dan Hickey, and the bagpipe tradition went on long before Hickey. He passed the tradition down to Reggie and we will make sure that it continues to go on as long as there is ND lacrosse.
Ralph (Long Island)
This question is for Duncan in regards to his hair...Alot of people are comparing you with the likes of aj hawk and mike okizitchy how much does your hair (flow) affect your game?
Duncan Swezey (1:17 PM)
The hair was actually a really big thing last year. It took me awhile to grow the flow out. I had to get through those really awkward stages always wearing hats, but once the flow grew in I was stoked. I have not heard those two comparisons but I do have a story about being compared to Edge the WWE wrestler. We do a mentoring program here at a local elementary school for at risk kids. One of the first days I came in to talk with my student a bunch of his friends started running up to me and calling me Edge. I thought it was absolutely hilarious that these kids thought I was a pro wrestler. I did not run with it but when I think back on it I probably should have for a little bit. Another time someone called me Edge was here at school. One day I was just walking in the quad and a Notre Dame Dining Hall aid asked me if I was Edge. hahah two times people have called me Edge the WWE wrestler. I wish I had his size, it would help me bully around some of the D-Poles I have to play against.
I heard one of your assistants, Gerry Byrne, has a genius level IQ. I actually may have heard this from Gerry himself. Comments?
Duncan Swezey (1:19 PM)
Great Question....Coach Byrne definitely has a nasty lax IQ. He also loves repping he is from LI and always tells stories of his visits going back and getting the bagels and pizza.
Ryan Hoff (1:20 PM)
Great question Christian. Not sure how to answer this. Coach Byrne definitely has a high IQ of the game, as well as a great mind when it comes to movie culture and music. On whether you heard this from Coach Byrne himself or not, I wouldn't know. But I do know that he can sell anything. He can talk his way into or out of any situation. It's a lot of fun playing for thim though. He has a lot of great insight into the game that few possess.
What's your thought on where Notre Dame will be as a program in five years, especially with the new Big East conference?
Ryan Hoff (1:24 PM)
Well Hunter, there is no question that we are trying to build a national championship team. It's been our goal the past few years, and it is definitely the long term goal of the coaches and team. In the next five years I think we will continue to stay at the top. We have worked our way into a perrenial top ten team in the past two years, and I think in the next 5 we will hope to conitnue that upward trend. The new Big East Conference is going to be great for the sport as a whole. For ND, it will definitely create more exposure. We will be playing teams on the east coast more, and playing teams like Cuse, Gtown, Rutgers, St Johns, and Providence will be great for our team as well. Along with the Big East conference, we are having a brand new state of the art stadium being built, ready for next season. With all of these additions, I think ND will continue to nab top recruit as well.
Duncan Swezey (1:25 PM)
I think it is an unbelieveable opportunity that the Big East Conference has decided to add men's lacrosse to their long list of athletics. It is going to be a very competitive conference with the different teams that are going to be joining it. I think by joining such a competitive and famous conference recruiting will get better and national recognition will grow. Not only is Notre Dame joining the Big East but they also have an amazing lacrosse only stadium that will be ready for the 2010 season. This will be the most state of the art lacrosse facility in the country and will help Notre Dame in years to come. With all these great things taking place in the next few years I feel Notre Dame will always be knocking at the door of that National Title Hunt.
van buren (N.Y.)
How did Colt Power get left off the Inside Lacrosse all-name team?
Ryan Hoff (1:29 PM)
Van Buren, your guess is as good as mine. I mean his full name is Colton Van Power. If it was just Colt Power I would put him on the first team, but its Colton Van Power- he should be IL name of the year. I can understand that its tough to look through all the rosters for good names, but our boy CVP should be on the list, without a doubt. Keep making noise about it Van Buren (great name yourself by the way), hopefully IL will do a revised list or something.
How great of a player is Peter Christman? What kind of dynamic does he bring to the Notre Dame team?
Duncan Swezey (1:30 PM)
Hey Mike Pogo, Petey Christman is a great player. He is probably one of the quickest guys I have ever played with. He can dodge from up top and because he is a converted attackman he is lethal from behind. I would also probably add that he has a better left handed rip than Mike Podgajny.
Chris in DC
Ryan and Duncan -- How many different states have you guys played in in your careers, including fallball? (Like geographical states, not physical ones.)
Ryan Hoff (1:33 PM)
This will take some brainstorming. I'm looking for a map or something. While at ND: Indiana, Illinois, Denver, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Connecticut, Michigan. And we will be playing in Texas this year as well. While growing up I also played in New Jersey for some tourneys. One of the cool things about playing at ND is that we have played all over the place.
Duncan Swezey (1:34 PM)
Lets see....While at Notre Dame we have played in Indiana, Illnois, Denver, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Connecticut, Michigan and new to the list, Texas this year. When you play at Notre Dame you have the opportunity to play all over the country. A lot of us really wanted to play out in California like the "Goat" Joe Kemp got to his freshman year but we were never able to.
Joey at work
Guys, you got my daily schedule all wrong. I will send you an itinerary on Monday so you can update your blog. With love, The Goat
Duncan Swezey (1:36 PM)
Joe Kemp...I am looking forward to your true daily schedule, I thought we were spot on but I guess we missed a few Big Macs.
Ryan Hoff (1:38 PM)
Well Goat (Joe Kemp), maybe you should get back to work. Your right though, we should have made the schedule a little more realistic. You actually look at blogs and forums from 9am to 7pm, not 9am to 5pm. And I guess you probably have Big Macs in the afternoon, but its definitely more than one. Make sure you send your itinerary from your blackberry. Much love, Hoff
It seems like the ND student body always shows with big-time support for football, basketball and hockey games, do they come to lax games too? Will there be a big crowd on Sunday?
Duncan Swezey (1:43 PM)
We had a great crowd for the Dartmouth game last weekend. The problem this weekend is spring break, most of the students will be gone by game time so I don't know how much student body support we are going to get. One thing I do know is our boys, the #3 division one hockey team in the land, are coming out in full force to cheer us on. We always check out their games and they are psyched to get rowdy at the game on Sunday.
Ryan Hoff (1:44 PM)
Chris, the ND student body does show big-time support for football, bball and hockey. But they also have shown more support for lax games each year that we have been here. A lot of people out here have never seen lacrosse, so many come to see their first game and continue because they like it so much. Last week against Dartmouth we had a great crowd inside at Loftus Sports Center. About 1000 people showed up- which is standing room only in the crowded and noisy Loftus Center. The only problem with our game Sunday against UNC is that the student body will be on spring break. So many students will already be gone for break. This has been the case when we play at UNC as well... because we always play during spring break. However, most of the team's parents make it to the majority of the games. They are an incredible fanbase as well. The #3 ND hockey team will also be making a big-time appearance at our game against UNC.
Ryan Hoff (1:44 PM)
They are in town for spring break, so we expect our boys on the Hockey Team to bring a lot of energy and rowdiness to the game
Jon Brand (1:48 PM)
Ok, we're going to leave it there. Ryan and Duncan were great today and you can catch them against North Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m. Follow along at InsideLacrosse.com. We'll see you next week.