Student-athlete profile: Mike Fiacco '13
Mike Fiacco '13 is a four-year starter on defense for the men's lacrosse team. Mike has helped lead the program to 31 wins and a spot in the 2012 NESCAC Championship quarterfinals. He earned NESCAC spring all-academic team honors as a junior and made the Liberty League all-league team his sophomore year. Mike and the Continentals host Colby College in conference action at Steuben Field on Saturday, March 16, at noon.
Q: Tell us a little bit about where you grew up.
A: I grew up in Syracuse, N.Y., which must have the worst weather in the country. And contrary to what most Hamilton students think, there is more to Syracuse than Dinosaur BBQ and an airport.
Q: How did you get involved in the sport of lacrosse?
A: I was introduced to lacrosse when my older brother Jimmy started playing. My first time playing on a team was in first grade when my school’s youth athletic program created a lacrosse league.
Q: Did you play any other sports before arriving at Hamilton?
A: In high school I played volleyball and switched between football and soccer. But it’s hard to find a sport I don’t love to play. I will play tennis, bocce ball, Kan Jam, anything.
Q: What attracted you to Hamilton College and the men's lacrosse program?
A: My goal was to go to a top college where I could do well academically, in addition to playing lacrosse. I learned from my brother the importance of having a coach you like in college, and I fell in love with Coach (Scott) Barnard within the first few minutes of meeting him. Plus, we went to the same high school and have a lot in common. My first time on campus just felt right and I knew right away that Hamilton was the right place for me.
Q: This weekend the men's lacrosse team has their home opener against Colby College, a team receiving votes in the national poll. What are your expectations for this weekend?
A: My expectations are the same for every game -- to win. We have defeated several ranked teams throughout my four years at Hamilton, including No. 5 Tufts University this year. We can beat any team in the country when we execute and play the way we are capable of playing.
Q: The team has racked up 31 wins so far in your career, including last year's post-season appearance, which was the first since 2006. Talk about that experience.
A: My first two years we had great records, but still missed the playoffs. Finally last year we made the postseason. Even though we lost, I was really proud of how hard our team played. Last season gives us a lot of hope for this season, because we were only one win away from making the NCAA tournament, and know we can compete with any team in the NESCAC.
Q: You have scooped up 103 ground balls and caused 47 turnovers coming into your senior season. As a defenseman, what is your favorite aspect of the game?
A: I love everything about lacrosse, especially the fast-paced, competitive nature of the game. If I had to pick one favorite aspect, it would probably be causing a turnover and getting the ball to our offense, because that takes a possession away from the opponent.
Q: You wear number 22, which is a legendary number with the men's lacrosse team at Syracuse University. Since you are from the Syracuse area, does the jersey number have any importance to you?
A: I grew up as a huge Syracuse fan, so I have always been attracted to the number 22 because of its history. I have tried to wear 22 for every team I ever played on to be like SU greats such as the Powells and Gaits. Wearing 22 gives me extra motivation to work that much harder to represent the number the way it is supposed to be worn.
Q: What has been your favorite memory from all of your seasons with the lacrosse team?
A: Two memories that stand out are going paintballing with the team, and driving down to North Carolina while watching the HBO series "Eastbound & Down", and making the show the theme for our season.
Q: You have been a member of both the Liberty League all-league team and the NESCAC spring all-academic team. Do you have any advice about how to excel both on the field and in the classroom?
A: Time management is huge. If I am not constantly working on my schoolwork or lacrosse, then I feel like I am doing something wrong. My advice is to limit your free time and do something productive, take advantage of your professors during office hours and always work to get ahead in your work.
Q: What has been your favorite class at Hamilton?
A: My favorite class is a toss-up between Knot Theory (Math) and Organic Chemistry. Both of these classes challenged me. I felt like I was solving puzzles, and I love puzzles.
Q: What will Mike Fiacco be doing in five years from now?
A: In five years I should have graduated from medical school and will be in my first year of residency.