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In The Crease: featuring Florida Launch Midfielder, Nick Mariano

January 23, 2018

How did you get introduced to lacrosse?

Growing up my brothers played lacrosse so I was introduced to it very early on in life. 


What’s the first 90 minutes of your day look like?

I usually wake up around 6, go to the gym, stretch and maintain flexibility. Then I eat some breakfast throw on a podcast and head to work. 


Growing up we're your a multi-sport athlete or focused strictly on lacrosse? 

Yes, I played football and also wrestled. My dad was a big advocate on playing multiple sports and saw the benefits of doing so. 


Growing up who was your biggest inspiration?

I have some amazing role models in my life and I was fortunate enough to grow up in a lacrosse town like Yorktown. We are lucky enough to have many great lacrosse players come through our program but the one I looked up to the most was Rob Kavovit. He played at Yorktown and Syracuse, Rob was a big influence in my path to Syracuse and my lacrosse career. 


What's your current stick setup? 

Right now I am using a Maverik A1 shaft, Optik head and ECD semi-hard mesh. 


How do you tape your sticks? 

I recently started to tape my sticks ¾ of the way up my shaft with a decent sized butt end. 


What do you look for in your pockets?

 I like to string my sticks with a medium pocket and a decent channel. I like to get my hands back really far when I shoot so the channel gives me enough whip to keep the ball in my stick and it also allows me to get the ball out quickly by having that medium pocket, 


Do you string your own sticks or do you have someone else?

Yes, I started stringing sticks when I got to Syracuse and since then I don’t let anyone else string them. 








What would we find in your gear bag?

I am a maverik athlete so all of my equipment is maverik. I use a pair of the rome rx3 gloves and max arm pads. I use a pair of new balance cleats that the team provides us. I usually have some clif bars in there or any type of protein bar. 


How do you feel the recruiting process has changed since you have been recruited to Syracuse?

It has changed drastically. Even when I was in high school the recruiting process was crazy and kids were committing as freshman. With the new rules I think it will help those kids who are late bloomers or who get better as they get older find there ways into the top tier programs. 


What drove to to ‘Cuse? Were there other offers in the mix?

Growing up I had been a Cuse fan and it was always a dream of mine to play for them. They played with a very exciting up and down pace of style which made it fun to watch them. Every time I watched them play I would fall more in love with the game and it made me want to be a part of Cuse. 


Why did you choose # 23?

The #23 is a very important number to me. My freshman year of high school I had learned that a family friend and idol of mine had passed away suddenly. It was very tragic and nerve racking for my family, myself and the Ossining community. Christian played football and baseball for Ossining High school and he wore #23. So, when I got the opportunity my Sophomore year of high school I asked for #23 and ever since that year I have been fortunate enough to wear it. 


What does your weekly workout regimen consist of?

I work out about 4-5 times a week at a local gym right down the street from me. That includes weight training, conditioning and recovery. I try to play wall ball at least 3-4 days a week for 30 minutes if not more. 


What’s a workout every guy should be doing (but which few are)?

I am a huge fan of medicine ball workouts. I think as a shooter it is the best workout you can do for yourself to improve velocity, strength and stabilization in your core. 


Favorite pregame/post meal?

My favorite pregame meal would have to be some steak and chicken with any type of vegetables and some type of carb. For a pregame meal I would have to say whatever the team moms or Launch provided for us. 


What is your career outside of the sport?

I am a Commercial Real Estate Salesperson at Exit Realty 


What's the best piece of advice you could give to a young Midfielder looking to have success on the field?

The best piece of advice that I could give to a young midfielder is that learn all positions on the field. The best thing about being a midfielder is that you can go all over the field offensively and defensively. 


What are your favorite shooting drills? 

My favorite shooting drill is called ladders. Dylan Donahue and his dad (coach Donahue) created this drill and it is my favorite shooting drill. It combines your short range and long range shots as well as forming good habits which is most important for a shooter.  


Most memorable play throughout your career?

This past season with Cuse when we beat Duke in Overtime at the Carrier dome. Jamie trimboli scored the overtime goal and I was right behind him so I had the best view of the ball going in and it pinned top left corner. I had never heard a roar that big from a crowd so it was pretty special to see it all unfold right in front of me. 


Can you describe the feeling of suiting of for your very first professional game with the Florida Launch?

 It was surreal. I had always dreamed of playing in the MLL and being able to get to the highest level of lacrosse. I was fortunate enough to play my first game in Long Island which was only an hour from my house. So, a bunch of my family and friends were able to come and watch me play. That made it even more special. 


What's one personal goal and one overall team for the 2018 major league lacrosseseason with The Launch?

A personal goal for this year would have to be trying to create more slides for our offense. Like I said we are very fortunate to have the dodgers on our time like we do but if I can improve on that it could only help us more. For an overall team goal it would have to be winning a Championship. We made it to the semis last year but that was enough for us and we have a great group of guys who are coming back and it will be fun to see what happens. 


What motivates you to get up everyday and get better?

Just knowing that I am playing at the highest level and that any one can take your spot. You only have 19 spots on an MLL roster and 2 of them are goalies. So, it motivates me to stay in the lineup and do my part to help our team win games. 


Who's the Biggest character on The Launch?

This is a tough one. We have a great locker room and all the guys get along with each other but I would say Mike Unterstein. 




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