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Men’s Lacrosse: Three new captains ready to lead

Matthew Robison | Wednesday, February 8, 2012

As the No. 9 Irish start off their season, newer team members make adjustments on the field while three veteran players strive to perfect their skills as leaders.

Seniors and captains Max Pfeifer, Kevin Randall and Nicholas Beattie said they are lucky to be part of a senior class with excellent leadership skills.

“I definitely think there’s added responsibility due to my title as a captain,” Randall said. “But I think what makes the job a lot easier is that we have a lot of leadership throughout our senior class.”

Midfielder Randall and defenseman Pfeifer said they see themselves as leaders by example. While they said they may not get in a teammates face about a mistake or vocalize their intentions, the message is received regardless.

“I’m not exactly the most vocal guy in the world,” Randall said. “But that’s something I’m trying to work on. I think that saying less is sometimes worth more. If there’s a guy who’s always talking to be heard, guys don’t always listen to what he has to say. I think the guys on this team really follow the example set by the seniors.”

Pfeifer acknowledged, though, that a less authoritative leadership style can have his drawbacks.

“I try to be liked by everyone,” Pfeifer said. “That’s probably my biggest leadership flaw. I want to be the good guy and liked by everyone. That’s not always what the team needs. They need people to be vocal. That’s probably been the biggest challenge as a leader for me.”

Part of the challenge for these captains is taking on the weight of Notre Dame’s strong lacrosse tradition. In the last two seasons, the Irish made it to the national championships and national quarterfinals.

As leaders, it is the captains’ responsibility to continually push the team to be even better. Pfiefer said the coaches are a big part of that as they only recruit high character players.

“[Irish] coach [Kevin] Corrigan, when he recruits players, he doesn’t just recruit talent, he recruits character,” Pfeifer said. “Year in and year out, everybody cares about each other, works hard. We just keep building every year. Each year we keep getting closer.”

Randall said the daily commitment to hard work and improvement will help the Irish reach their goals.

“I don’t think you set lofty goals, like we’re aiming to do something in the long run, but just getting after it every day,” Randall said. “As soon as our season ended last year, I was already looking forward to coming back this year, and I was already working hard in the offseason. Obviously we would have like to go further. But I think the quality of the guys on our team is that we’re willing to work hard no matter what the situation is.”

The Irish kick off the regular season with a grudge match against Duke on Feb. 18 at home. The game will be aired on ESPNU.


Contact Matthew Robison at [email protected]