One-on-One: Matt Lacroix ‘13 - Westfield (MA) Boys Lacrosse
Anyone who understands the game of lacrosse appreciates the value of earning possessions and the importance of winning faceoffs.
We first saw Westfield middie and faceoff specialist Matt Lacroix '13 last season and followed him this summer as he played for the Western Mass. Sharpshooters in Summer Club lacrosse.
A two-way middie and one of the top faceoff men in the state, Lacroix and his Westfield teammates are currently 9-3 on the season. The Bombers are one of the four top teams in a balanced and competitive Western Massachusetts.
We recently caught up with Lacroix as Westfield enters the midway point of their 2013 schedule
Talk about the start of your senior season and what the expectations and goals were for your final year at Westfield?
ML: My team and I have never been more excited for the start of a lacrosse season. Westfield High has never won a Western Mass title and we came into this season with one goal in mind, to bring our school it's first championship in lacrosse. I came into this season telling myself I wanted to leave this program knowing I gave it my all. I am not guaranteeing we will win Western Mass, but I can promise I will be leaving everything on the field every single game to help give us the best possible chance to come out on top.
Talk a little about your time at Westfield and playing for the Bombers. How do you think it compares across the state?
ML: My first home is with my brothers here playing for Westfield High. I have grown and played with these guys since fourth grade and will always consider myself a Bomber. I could not have asked for better coaches from Coach Cav here at the high school to all of my youth coaches throughout the years.
I am well aware that Eastern Mass is much better known for their ability in lacrosse and gets much more recognition, but I honestly believe that coaches have missed out on some real talent coming out of Western mass in the last couple of years including multiple players from the Sharpshooters.
Talk a little about playing with the Western Mass. Sharpshooters in the summer and how playing all year around has improved your game?
ML: I have seen the biggest improvement in my game throughout my summers with the Western Mass Sharpshooters. Playing with the talent we have on the Sharpshooters really helps me play at the top of my game. As the summer progressed I saw my scoring ability improve greatly because of the guys I was playing with and the amount of lacrosse I was playing. For me lacrosse is not just a spring sport but something I dedicate my time and effort to all year round.
What are your plans for next year and can you talk a little about the recruiting process?
ML: Next year I will be attending and playing at Springfield College. I actually was not recruited by Springfield, but found the school itself to be the best fit for me. I received scholarship offers from AIC and Franklin Pierce and talked to a lot of other coaches but my parents and I decided picking the right school for me was more important than picking where I would like to play lacrosse.
As one of the top faceoff guys in Massachusetts can you talk a little about taking face-offs and the importance of it in your game?
ML: I have always loved being a faceoff guy. Taking the majority of the draws in a game allows me to stay on the field and gives me a lot of opportunities in transition. Faceoffs are such a big part of my game because if I can give my team possession at the start of every quarter and after goals are scored those are opportunities for us to put the ball back in the net that the other team does not have. I take pride in being able to do this for my team.
Who is the top face-off guy you have gone up against, whether it be summer or spring?
ML: The best face off guys I have ever gone up against were at the NFOC (National Face Off Combine). Nolan Godfrey is the head of this event and brings in talent from all over the country to work on their skills and go head to head against each other.
Staying with that, who do you see as your top competition this year in terms of teams and some of the better players you go up against out in the Valley Wheel?
ML: This year our league is very strong and I see six teams that are contenders for the Western Mass Championship. I would say Longmeadow, South Hadley, and Amherst are our biggest competition at this point in the season. This year my main threats at the face off x are T.J. Fitzel from South Hadley and Kelleher from Longmeadow.
Westfield players celebrate with Lacroix
What do you consider your strengths on the lacrosse field and one thing that you need to continue to work on?
ML: On the field I consider myself a strong defender and faceoff man. I excel in the transition game, but my shot, although improved, could still really use some work.
Lastly, tell us something unique that not many people know about you?
ML: Something a lot of people know about me is that I am actually a lefty in every other sport. This allows me to be much more comfortable in my off hand then most players are.
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