April 29, 2011
Senior midfielder David Earl serves as team captain of the top-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team. The native of Simsbury, Conn., is second on the team in scoring with 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points in the team’s first 10 games this season. A preseason all-BIG EAST and All-American selection, Earl has helped the Irish to a 10-0 record this year with a pair of games left on the regular season schedule. The 6-1, 180-pound midfielder was named second team all-BIG EAST and an honorable mention All-American in 2010 after a career-best season that saw him score 22 goals with six assists for 28 points as Notre Dame advanced to the national title game. Earl and his teammates are in action on Saturday, April 30 when they travel to Syracuse to face the fourth-ranked Orange in a game that will be televised on ESPNU at 7:00 p.m. Und.com’s Adam Schmitz had a chance to sit down with Earl earlier this month to find out more about the Irish men’s lacrosse standout.
Who have been your role models growing up? My dad and my brother have been huge role models for me with sports. My dad was a pro hockey player for the Hartford Whalers and my brother was the captain of the hockey team at Yale University in 2001. They both helped me with understanding the path it takes to get to the highest level of athletics. I don’t think I could have made it to where I am today without their support and guidance along the way. Outside of athletics my parents are my number one role models. I could not put in words how truly wonderful my parents are but their love and support in my life have molded me into the person I am today.
Why did you choose to attend Notre Dame? I chose to attend Notre Dame because when I visited here for the first time it just felt right. In a way it was a larger version of my high school (Westminster School in Simsbury, Conn.). It has a combination of athletics and academics like no other school in the country. I love sports and everything about sports and when I visited here I could see that every student felt the same way. The fall and the football tradition are pretty awesome as well.
Where are you living this year? I’m living in Turtle Creek Apartments (now named Clover Village) with Taylor Tripucka (who is on the team as well). We also live next door to two other lacrosse players Andrew Irving and Tim Bemer.
What has been your favorite class at Notre Dame? I am currently in a class called Business Problem Solving that I am enjoying a lot. Our professor Corey Angst is a great professor and the room that the class is in is filled with computers for every person and flat screens for each group. It is a really nice set up for the material that we cover which involves a lot of group work on business cases.
What is your favorite dining hall food? I love the make-your-own pizzas at North Dining Hall. Back in the day when I was on campus I also liked the South Dining Hall omelets. Ham and cheese was my go-to omelet.
What is your favorite sport to participate in outside of lacrosse? Hockey is my favorite sport outside of lacrosse. My dad and brother were big time hockey players and our family has always loved everything about the sport. It was between playing hockey or lacrosse in college. I still play all the time when I home with friends over breaks and in the summer. Still waiting for the Hartford Whalers to come back to the NHL.
What are your plans after college? I am still figuring them out. I would love to be able to support myself financially off of a sport. Playing professional lacrosse and working for some sort of lacrosse company or sports company would be a great experience.
What is your dream job outside of lacrosse? Starting my own company some day would be pretty interesting. I think there is a lot for me to learn and understand before I do that but hopefully one day I will get there. I also really would like to be a high school teacher when I get older. My dad always has told me you should have three completely different careers throughout your life so that would definitely be my third.
If you could have dinner with any three people past or present, who would they be? My grandfather and grandmother on my dad’s side along with my grandfather on my mom’s side. They all passed before I was born so getting to meet them and talk with them would be something really special for me.
Who is your favorite professional athlete? This is a tough one. Kevin Youkilis on the Red Sox is the man. I also love watching Alex Ovechkin play for the Washington Capitals. Rajon Rondo on the Celtics is also up there on the list.
What is your pregame routine and meal? Chicken, pasta, salad, bread, and tons of water is always the meal the night before a game. Leading up to the game I like to eat a couple bars, a banana, and half Gatorade half water mix drink. As for my routine, outside of the same stretches and drills we do pregame as a team, I like to listen to the same playlist of songs on my iPod and go through my own set of stretches before the team warm-up.
What is a typical weekday like for you, during the season? This spring has been great. I have two classes every day Monday-Thursday and no classes Friday. Practice is usually around 4pm after class and during the time off in the morning and between classes I just like to either hang out and watch TV or play the guitar. Once the weather starts to get warmer and sunny I will be spend a lot of my free time outside enjoying the spring.
How were you first introduced to the game of lacrosse? One of my best friends from home Nick Stevens got me into the sport. I picked up lacrosse really late compared to most. I think the first time I threw a lacrosse ball was towards the end of my 8th grade year going into high school. Mr. Daly, my high school coach at Westminster School helped me out a lot with developing my skills and learning the game relatively quickly during my first couple years playing.
What has been your favorite moment as a player at Notre Dame? Running down the field clearing the ball with 10 seconds left in the Maryland game last year. I knew as I was running down the field we were off to my first final four and Notre Dame’s second ever final four. It was one of the best feelings I’ve had as an athlete.
What is your favorite away field to play on and why? We played at Denver University’s field this year under the lights. When you play at Denver they always have a rowdy crowd that makes the game that much more fun to be a part of. The game was also sold out with people outside the stadium watching.
Who is the funniest guy on the team? I would have to say Andrew Irving definitely is the one who makes the most jokes on the team. Even though all of his jokes aren’t the best… (sorry Irv) he makes so many that eventually he lands a really funny one.
What’s your favorite girl’s dorm? I don’t have one but McGlinn Hall was the sister dorm of O’Neill Hall (my dorm for two years) so I’ll chose that one. I don’t think I’ve ever stepped foot in that dorm though.
What is the most important thing to do this year for the team to bring home a National Championship? Our team just needs to stay focused and take the season one game at a time. If we can focus on getting better each and every practice and game, I think we will be a very tough team to beat.
What are your individual goals this year? The only thing I want out of this season is a national championship. No other award or recognition is as meaningful as winning a national championship with your closest friends.
What are your biggest responsibilities as a team captain? Keeping the team focused and motivated in every practice and game. Most of the time that really is not a problem with our team but there are always those days where people are not there mentally. I also think staying positive in situations where the team is struggling during a game or down during the season is a big part of being a leader.