Jack Robison
Jack Robison, Captain of the Men's Lacrosse Team (Photo by Lee Ferris, Mount Saint Mary College)

by Madison Hanlon

Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) Men’s Lacrosse team takes the field for the first game of their 2015 season on Feb. 25 against Mitchell College at 7 PM. Prior to the much anticipated face-off, Mount Messenger sat down with Coach Eric Seideman to talk about pre-season action.


Mount Messenger: “What do you like most about your job as head coach of the MSMC men’s lacrosse team?”

Eric Seideman: “I was always interested in working with young adults and students. I was really fortunate to have a great coach in college who really showed me the influence a strong mentor can have on college students.”


MM: “Although the season has not yet started, do you feel as though your team has put in the necessary work this pre-season that will make them successful on the field?”

ES: “What we emphasize as a program and as a coaching staff is our culture, trying to really build a strong foundation in which to improve with. We did a nice job with our fall practices and scrimmages. We did a really nice job in the weight room both in the fall and when we came back from winter break. When we came back from winter break we had 62% personal records on the lifting tests.”


MM: “What do you expect from your team this season?”

ES: “One thing that I am very excited about is how much depth we have. In the past few years we have really struggled to have a full roster that was fully competitive, even just numerically. We have 41 players on our roster. This past weekend we had a scrimmage and started 6 freshmen; so we have a lot of good young players who are excited and hungry and looking forward to playing some good competition.”


MM: “You have a large freshman class this year. How much of an impact will they make?”

ES: “They have already had a huge impact just in terms of making our team more competitive at practice. They, to a man, are all hard workers. They really want to be successful and they push each other, which is the most important thing. In terms of their playing ability, they are some of our better players. The majority, or a big bulk of them, are going to play a little, a lot, or somewhere in between.”


MM: “What is the Yards for Yeardley Campaign? Why did you want your team to take part in it?”

ES: “Yards for Yeardley’s initiative targets raising the awareness about relationship violence. I think that when you combine immature people with alcohol and some questionable social situations, [domestic violence] has become an epidemic in this country. I thought that it would be a really great learning experience for our team. We are by far the biggest group of men on this campus. 40 plus male students is a big group, and to me we have a very large social responsibility to try to model good behavior. From our team perspective, I wanted to help teach the men on my team about the issue and moving forward some ways to constructively deal with it. We will be doing some bystander intervention training with the counseling office. It’s not part of the Yards for Yeardley initiative, but it is our own team educational piece. The actual initiative is that teams pledge to run a million yards during a month in Yeardley’s honor. We did complete the one million yards.”


MM: “How important is it to you as a coach to see your boys make an impact not only on the field, but off?”

ES: “To me lacrosse is great, and obviously we want to win as many games as we can, but that is not what we are about. Our program is about developing our student athletes as citizens, as students, and as teammates. We want them to each become the best person they can be; and to me we want to give back to the community. The read-a-thon was really cool (the team read to children of the community), especially to see our 18,19, and 20 year old men as nervous as the 6 year old children from the community. Working together was a great experience for our guys, but also I think for some of the local kids. They see this college male promoting that reading is cool and that might completely change their whole future path.”


MM: “In the preseason poll, the team is ranked number five in the Skyline Conference. What does this number mean to you and your team?”

ES: “That is where we have finished the last couple of years. I think that generally college lacrosse coaches are very reactionary. Most conferences, their preseason poll is going to be exactly how it was the year before. I hope that we will finish better than that. I will not be happy if that is where we finish, but if we want to do better than that we have to earn it. That is the approach we have taken. I am not surprised where we are ranked and I hope we will do better than that. We have to earn it on the field.”


MM: “What do you hope to see out of your senior attacker and captain, Jake Robison, this season?”

ES: “Jake is obviously a fantastic player. He was our offensive MVP last year, he made All-Conference, and he is on pace to become our programs career leading scorer. But I think the biggest value that he brings to our offense and what we will really miss when he graduates is his vocal leadership. He is our quarterback of our offense. He is the one who calls out our plays. He runs the show out there. He directs traffic, tells people where to go, he makes sure everyone knows what they are doing out there and it is really important since there are so many moving parts on any given lacrosse play. He is really fantastic at doing that. He really brings a really strong vocal leadership presence down there. He is kind of like an assistant coach on the field, which is really valuable.”


Go Knights!