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Switch not so hard for ND’s Giordano

Pat Leonard | Tuesday, March 30, 2004

When Brian Giordano made the switch from playing attackman to manning the midfield after his freshman season, he had no problem with the change. He trusted his coaches knew what was best for the team. He understood he would have to adjust.But that doesn’t mean the transition was easy.”I had never played defense in my life before I got to college,” Giordano said. “Now I was playing midfield, and I had to learn to play offense and defense. So it was a big transition, but I think it has been a positive move.”The Great Western Lacrosse League would agree – or at least it did last week. The league named Giordano its Player of the Week after the junior tied a career high with five goals in a 19-11 Irish upset of No. 13 Hofstra March 24.Giordano’s other five-goal performance came during a 13-4 victory over Air Force on April 12 of last season. While a potent weapon on Notre Dame’s attack, Giordano attributes his recent success to the abundance of talent on the Irish front lines.”We just have a lot of great offensive players,” he said. “I’m just finding some passing lanes and my teammates are putting the ball on my stick. I didn’t do anything spectacular [against Hofstra], but I’ve just been shooting the ball well recently.”Following goals by midfielders Brian Hubschmann and Steve Clagget to open the game against the Pride, the junior netted his first two goals of the game to open a 4-0 Notre Dame lead early in the first quarter. His next shot attempt snuck by the Hofstra goaltender at the 6:41 mark of the second quarter to make the score 10-2. Two quick goals in the fourth quarter gave Giordano five goals, while his teammate Hubschmann finished with four.Giordano’s effectiveness at the midfield position has been rewarded in the past. The GWLL made him a first-team all-league honoree last season. In high school, Giordano received Player of the Year honors in New Jersey from the Trenton Times after becoming the career scoring leader at the Hun School with 262 points. Still, his talent and effectiveness were visible again against Hofstra. Giordano seems confident that the once foreign position now fits him.”I think coach just figured he could use my strength best at the midfield [when he switched me],” Giordano said. “We already have great attackmen in [senior Matt] Howell and [senior Dan] Berger.”Giordano played in all 13 games his freshman year and started in 12 of them. The Princeton, N.J. native scored nine goals and notched 10 assists as an attackman. After the switch to midfield, Giordano’s production hardly went down. As a sophomore, he scored 13 goals and had five assists, earning himself that first-team all-league honor.His goals, however, remain team-oriented. League play begins today against Ohio State, and Giordano realizes nothing is bigger than maintaining team chemistry.”Coming off our last game against Hofstra, if we bring that same energy and enthusiasm we can play with the best teams in country,” he said.Giordano said the Irish lost to Loyola, a team that defeated Hofstra this season, because of a lack of effort. But against Hofstra, the attitude was different. And so was the result.”We were really fired up,” Giordano said. “We beat them on ground balls. It was more of an emotional effort. We know we are a team capable of being a top-five team in the country. “[Against Ohio State] we’ll have to out work them and we’re hoping we can continue that for the rest of the season.”The junior does not seem to care where he is playing on the field, as long as the team is winning.”I obviously haven’t been switched back [to attackman],” he said. “So I think things are working out, for me and for the team.”