SCOTT TEETER INTERVIEW
I was able to catch up with Louisville head Lacrosse coach Scott Teeter Tuesday afternoon in his office and we were able to get in a great interview about Louisville Lacrosse so far this season.
It's almost always a great visit to the Kueber Center where the Lacrosse offices are, and, as a added bonus, I got to see my love...basketball's Cortnee Walton TWICE while there and also met (relatively) new lacrosse assistant coach Allison Daley for the first time...plus running into my favorite draw control champ of all time and assistant LAX coach Kaylin Morissette.
Yes, a great day to be vertical, indeed....for ol' Paulie.
Here's what Scott and I chatted about:
PAULIE: Your thoughts on the season so far?
SCOTT:: We've come out of the gates running and it hasn't been perfect lacrosse but we've been playing pretty well. Our first game our defense and goalkeeping carried us and our offense got us to the quick start vs Denver but couldn't score in the second half. The offense got it figured out in the next two games and those resulted in wins. Defense very solid against both Colorado and Lindenwood.
Now it's about putting it all together. With Sara (Addeche) in net. We're getting the lead to start each of our three contest, we just need to come out as strong to start the second halves.
PAULIE: Defense and playing the full 60 minutes are your things to do then...
SCOTT: 60 minutes is key. Our defense a bright spot. Sara credits the defense in front of her. We're making the saves that maybe we weren't last year. It's also been good to see our attack players get involved a little and not just our midfielders.
PAULIE: You're #23 in the nation in one poll...#19 in another...going into Virginia. Is the attitude a "We've gone this Far, can we go a little further?" feeling?
SCOTT: Definitely. One of my old coaches taught me..."Don't get too high on your highs or too low on your lows". We downplay the national ranking a little bit, Now, it's an opportunity vs. Virginia whose in the top ten.
PAULIE: Let's talk Nicole Perroni.
SCOTT: She's hit her stride, had a huge summer and was ready to roll for her senior season. She brings confidence and leadership to our program. She's developed into that leadership role. She taken Negai Nakazawa under her wing on the field, letting her sister Kokoro handle all the off-field things and when it comes to Lacrosse Negai goes to Nicole. Nicole is getting the other team's top defender and still producing, which is great.
PAULIE: Sara Addeche at goalkeeper. You had choices. What put her in the starting role?.
SCOTT: We didn't name a starter for a long time. Even in mid to late January, we hadn't named one. Sara ended up actually being the most healthy when we finally named a starter and she's taken it and ran with it. She's the first goalkeeper we have ever had .in the time I've been here, to be named ACC DEFENDER OF THE WEEK and she'll always the first one to credit the defensive line in front of her for the defense's successes. If there was ever any doubt, she's solidified her spot as our #1 goalkeeper right now.
PAULIE: A great thing to see is the roster at full strength with almost 40 players and if I'd mentioned "full strength" a couple of years ago to you, you would have rolled your eyes and slapped your palm up against the side of your face. Out of this current roster, 13 are freshmen and 12 are sophomores. That's a pretty amazing youth movement.
SCOTT: We're balanced and we have younger players that are competing. Sophomores like Tiffany Natoli, for example, starting and producing. A freshman like Negai Nakazawa. A player that could be our future. Rian Adkins, from Columbus, OH....already doing great things .A lot of upside. Her composure. And defensively, we're able to rotate five or six girls in, so we can stay a little fresher as the game gets deeper.. It's building a program, not just a team. When great players graduate, we want to have experienced players ready to come in and become those next great players. .And getting up to the speed of the ACC is big, also.
PAULIE: That getting up to speed in the best lacrosse conference in DI has to be so very important, yet difficult...also, .
SCOTT: Very important, but they ALL have the opportunity to earn playing time. To succeed and learn how to earn success. When I took over, we were just trying to get 18-20 girls that were healthy to play.
PAULIE: The Nakazawa sisters. A great story on this team. How did you get involved with them and ultimately getting them both to campus from Japan?
SCOTT: Through my Canada connections. I had a guy on one of my Canadian All-Star rosters who knew a lot about scouting Japanese lacrosse. I went over to Japan several times. Kokoro was the first to impress me. And to see her develop, especially now that her little sister is here, has been so wonderful. They'll joke around with me now and try to play tricks on me, before she'd walk around me on eggshells. Negai has made Kokoro better, her wanting to improve her skills to match Negai's.
PAULIE: Is there a third sister in the family?.
SCOTT: (laughing) There's not a third, but they did prank me by saying there was another sister, named Nicole. I caught on they were referring to Nicole Perroni
|(Not a Nakazawa sister, biologically)
PAULIE: The lack of splits between playing conference and nonconference squads? Does it affect you?
SCOTT: You've got to do it, because of the length of the season and everyone wanting to play an ACC, in-conference opponent on the weekend. We have four games coming up in eight days now, and that's a lot. At Virginia Saturday, at Vanderbilt Monday, then home to play Cincinnati on Friday and finally Pitt on a Sunday, March 5th.
PAULIE: Final words for the Cardinals fanbase...a pep talk to get them out to matches?
SCOTT: We're on the up and up...being nationally ranked and looking to stay there. We play in the ACC. That sells itself, right there. The University of Louisville's Athletic department sells itself. We have the only 'lacrosse only' facility in the ACC...Our support staff and network is tops. We have all the bells and whistles. We're in year six of the rebuild. Come out and be a part of it and join the great fans and spectators already out there.
|(before the press box was built...)
I appreciate Scott taking the time to speak with me on Tuesday and look forward to LAX at Louisville rising to the top of the ACC. The dedication, backing and foundation is there. Join me in watching it grow.
(We hope you have enjoyed the Scott Teeter shots we have collected over the years and used in today's article. Many are from the lenses of Jared Anderson).