Welcome to another Inside Lacrosse chat on ESPN. We've got Notre Dame's Max Pfeifer on the line, and he'll be answering questions about the Irish's season, and the upcoming date with St. John's at the Konica Minolta Big City Classic.
We've got a TON of questions. Keep them coming for Max.
Whats your biggest strength and weakness both on and off the field?
Off the field I'd say my biggest strength as a person and as a leader for the team is my ability to develop a positive relationship with people. I'm definitely the good cop among the Captains, but along with that my biggest weakness is my lack of ability to lay down the law when it needs to be. I have a hard time getting in people's faces which is what needs to be done sometimes. On the field I'd say my biggest strength is my ability to dodge and get to the goal, and weakness I can't really say since the season is still going on. You understand right?
Who would win in a one on one battle you or your older brother? (Defenseman from Stevens Tech)
On the field I'd without a doubt say me. However off the field he's definitely got more aggression and strength than me, which he gets from my mother, however strength hurts but speed kills. So I'd say i'd be able to out smart him and take him down if the arena was big enough. Very Katniss Everdeen-esque if you read Hunger Games...
As a great transition player, what makes your so effective from box to box? Is it a mentallity or skill based thing?
I'd say a little of both. You have to have the confidence and poise to succeed in a transitional situation since there are so many variables at play and decisions to make, but you also need the skill to finish the play when the opportunity presents itself. Many of my teammates would argue I'm not the greatest finisher in these situations but I'm working hard to prove them wrong
Is playing d1 lacrosse fun? What are the perks of being a division 1 athlete? Do you find yourself struggling to be BMOC (big man on campus if you aren't familiar with the acronym) with football players?
Playing D1 lacrosse is a dream come true. You automatically have a group of 43 guys who you can call your best friends, the academic and athletic facilities and programs at ND are second to none, and the free apparel doesn't hurt either. And regarding the Football team I'd say we coexist quite nicely with them. A lot of guys we'd call our close friends and hang out with them regularly. Plus they pay the bills and you're not supposed to bite the hand that feeds you right?
When the slide guy is coming in your face, do you prefer to face dodge, roll, feed, or what?
If i get the slide guy to come at me I've done my job. Our offensive philosophy isn't for 1 guys to make a great play, but for 6 guys to make the next play. If you do that then goals will come. So back to the question, if I have a second defensive player committed to me I will most likely just push the ball to my next teammate who's turn it is to make his read.
Apparently you were involved in gymnastics as a child, how has that experience helped you on the field?
Well I remember I was in a toddler gymnastics class when I was real young. I could do this one move call "The Elevator" that my strength coach now would probably be pretty proud of. But honestly that was so long ago I'm not sure if its relevant to my play today. Its just a point that since I could walk i've always been active and knew Division 1 sports was something I wanted to be a part of.
Who has the best nickname on the team?
I'd go with Freshmen Connor Doyle. We've christened him "Roast Beef" for his odd infatuation with the deli meat.
How do various notre dame lacrosse activities such as the freshmen karaoke and trips abroad affect the chemistry of your team on the field?
They're more crucial to our team dynamic than you would know. Talking to people who used to play sports in college and high school i always hear that they don't remember much from the games, but remember a ton from the bus trips and locker rooms. It's those times with your teammates that you look back on and cherish, those times that really builds the friendships. The trip to Japan, Freshmen Bus Karaoke, the community service we do, it all brings us closer together as a team like you wouldn't believe, and its those activities that really sets our program apart from others in my opinion.
Do you find it hard being a team leader for players who are all pretty much your age? I assume it would be hard at times to tell them what to do since they are essentially your peers.
Definitely Caitlin. As i said earlier my biggest weakness is being the bad cop and laying down the law. With the freshmen its easier because they're so much younger and less experienced but with fellow Seniors and even Juniors on the team it is a little more intimidating. However we really take pride in the close relationship we all have and understand that there is no room for a big ego on our team. Because of this it makes it easier to try and help out a teammate and have them listen to you and take what you're saying as a legitimate piece of advice instead of blowing it off.
Is it true Kevin Randall is the best dancer on your team, since he has such great feet defensively?
You'd think that would help him but it really doesn't. There have been plenty of opportunities for him to refine his moves in the off season and since I truly believe him to be one of the hardest workers on the team you'd think he would have some skill by now but thats just not the case. I think myself and Ryan Foley remain the dance kings amongst our teammates. Freshmen Will Gillmartin is showing promise as well for a future title
Role models are so important to young laxers. Did you have a favorite lacrosse player growing up?
Growing up in Charlottesville Virginia I obviously watched UVA players like Matt Ward, Kyle Dixon, Matt Poskay, Tilman Johnson, but I never took one to heart as my main idol. I admired their skills but never wanted to replicate them. The competitive little kid in my always wanted to become my own player and play on their level, but never like them specifically.
However if I could name one person who helped me out the most in my development and love for the game it would be Dan Neumeister. He was recently killed last year in an automobile accident and I wear his name on my helmet in honor of him.
Playing in Metlife Stadium this weekend, who do you choose Jets or Giants?
With my dad growing up in Buffalo I guess I cant really say Bills huh? I'll go with Giants. My line mate, and I guess dance parter, Ryan Foley is a huge Giants fan so I'll try and keep a healthy relationship with him
Max, what kind of effect has the addition of Jason Lamb to the staff had on the program and players?
Jason is definitely a players coach. He is one of the nicest people I have ever met and is always looking out for the team. Truly a good guy and its great to have him around. He has also been very lenient with distributing out extra equipment which doesn't hurt his cause.
Do you think it is still possible to #SaveFeve?
#SaveFever is a community service project some Notre Dame students have taken upon themselves to start and I am behind it 100%. Yes We Can.
Favorite pregame warmup song?
Well it turns out Disco isn't dead, it just changed its sound. Currently the craze amongst the young kids is Electronic Dance Music (EDM), that involves up tempo beats that are easy and fun to dance to. Perfect for pre-game warmups. My go to right now is "We Are Young (Alvin Risk Remix)". But the all time favorite has gotta be "Levels" by Avicii.
My son recently picked up the game and his size and speed have been perfect!! He struggles with cradling though, any tips?
How to cradle is one of those questions you get asked a lot by kids who are first starting to learn the game. And its honestly a real difficult/awkward thing to teach someone. My advice is to have the stick in your hands as much as possible and play catch as much as you can. All the stick skills will eventually come if you do that. You'll break a few windows but your parents won't mind when they're watching you play in the Final Four.
Max -Biggest surprise teams this season? What's your top 5
UMass and Loyola are up there as 1 and 2 having unreal seasons so far. Lehigh, my father's alma matter, are up there as well pulling out some big wins. It great to see some different teams amongst the Top 10 these days. It really goes to show how the game has grown in the past couple years and how much more talent there is out there to choose from.
Who on the team has the best and funniest twitter account? Im looking to spice up my tweet game a little bit.
Kevin Randall @RoboRandy39 has a great sense of very dry humor and tweet some gold once in awhile. Freshmen Will Gillmartin @SlickWilly tweets every other minute but there's quality as well as quantity.
We're running out of time with Max, but here's one last questions. Max, what's your prediction for the game against St. John's at the Konica Minolta Big City Classic?
I predict at today's practice we'll work hard and prepare as well as we can for Sunday. We make a point to never look to far in the future...but I'll break the rule and say we'll get a W in front of a couple thousand awesome fans in an incredible stadium anyway. Thanks Matt and Inside Lacrosse this was a great time! Live Love L(M)ax