In a return to more traditional interviews I venture up north to interview Kevin Crowley, a major force in lacrosse. Kevin’s achievements include 2010 USILA Player of the Year, 2010 First Team All-American, 2011 USILA Midfielder of the Year, 2011 First Team All-American, all-time points leader at Stony Brook University, first player drafted first overall in both the NLL and MLL draft, and member of 2014 World Champion Team Canada (he scored five goals in the championship game). This just scratches the surface of Kevin’s accomplishments. Kevin, thank you for taking time to answer our questions.
Q: You have had so much success during your career and you are just getting started. Do you have any moment or accomplishment that stands out in particular?
A: Definitely the world championships in 2014. So much preparation went into that tournament and to have the outcome we did was something I will never forget.
Q: When did you know lacrosse was your sport?
A: Probably when I was 12 or 13. It came down to lacrosse or hockey and I feel like I got channeled into lacrosse.
Q: You play at a high level in both the indoor and outdoor games. Do you enjoy one over the other or is it lacrosse plain and simple?
A: I enjoy Box over Field. It’s more rewarding to score on the small goals and is more physically challenging.
Q: There is a shift in American field lacrosse where they are incorporating elements of the indoor game into the offense. What are your thoughts and could you elaborate on the differences on indoor offense versus field?
A: I love it! We played a “hybrid” system in college using the two-man game a lot. Indoor teaches you to play in confined spaces and makes your stick skills sharper, allowing you to find open players that you maybe wouldn’t see with a solely field background.
Q: Your epic airline adventure to make your MLL debut for Chesapeake as your NLL commitment ended this past season was pretty long, yet you came played hard (I don’t think there was a person you did not hit that game). Were you making a statement or just being yourself? You seemed focused but looked like you were having fun.
A: I think it was a combination of built up aggression coming off the Champion’s Cup loss and playing loose knowing that it was a regular season game not a do or die championship game.
Q: Your size and stick skills make you a match up nightmare for opposing teams (Kevin is 6’4” 220). Is there any SSDM or LSM you looking forward to facing?
A: Dan Burns on Chesapeake is a guy I would always ISO. As well Mike Poppleton if I caught him on D.
Q: What did it mean for you to score five goals in the World Championship game?
A: It was unbelievable. Especially after having only three goals prior in the whole tournament.
Q: You seem to have your best games on the biggest stages. Do you thrive under pressure?
A: I think that comes down to how well you prepare. You also need awesome teammates who take a lot of pressure off of you. We had that on Team Canada in spades.
Q: You were traded to the Charlotte Hounds, a team that struggled offensively last season and you are a goal scorer. This sounds like a marriage made in heaven. Your thoughts?
A: I look forward to the new opportunity with the Hounds and hope I can contribute immediately.
Q: Where do you see the MLL in five years?
A: Hopefully expanded all across America and hopefully a Canadian team again!
Q: What are you goals for next season?
A: Honestly my focus is on the NLL season with the Black Wolves right now. I want to be a consistent goal scorer and make players around me better
Q: You travel a lot and besides the cramped airline seating what are the other challenges it brings?
A: Just exhaustion. Travelling across the country you’re never really getting a full deep sleep. That and the time changes from east to west or vice versa can take a toll on your body.
Q: What are the main things you try to coach young players about the game?
A: I feel like my main job is to make kids fall in love with the game. If kids love what they’re doing they’re going to want to practice all the time. I can teach the kids the proper fundamentals but if they don’t practice on their own it won’t sink in. That’s what got me to the level I am today. I played all the time because I loved the game
Q: Now you get to ask a question.
A: I always used to ask young lacrosse players in the Philly area when the Wings were here, “If I offered you Flyers tickets or Wings tickets what game would you go to?” and everyone said Flyers! Why? Why? You don’t even play that sport, why wouldn’t you support your sports pros!
Q: If you offer me the choice I am taking the Wings tickets! There is a Phillies baseball player that has a beach home close to the restaurant and he asked me my favorite athlete from Philly… told him it was a tossup between Greg Gurenlian (native of Philly) and Kevin Crowley (current resident). The sport is growing and we need to keep up the effort on all levels to grow it and make headway against the established leagues (NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB) and overtake the less popular sports. It will happen and then the little guys like me will either become part of the establishment or fade into the background as lacrosse becomes mainstream.