March 16, 2006

10 Questions With Women's Lacrosse's Maggie Fava

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While preparing for Saturday’s game against Ivy doormat Columbia, senior women’s lacrosse goalkeeper Maggie Fava completely shutout Sun Senior Writer Per Ostman.

1. Have you ever seen The Silence of the Lambs?
You have?
I know where this is going.
I’m not the first person to come up with this? You don’t like “Chiaaaanti?”
I don’t even know what Chianti is.
It’s a red wine.
Oh, it is?
Yes, it pairs well with liver.
I don’t know, I just know about the “fava beans” part.
You’ve really heard this before?
Dammit. I thought I was original.

2. Describe the pain of being hit by a lacrosse ball.
Well, it hurts a lot.
Really? You don’t say.
Freshman year, my assistant coach at the time would warm me up every day, and he would hit me all the time. That was my first experience with Division I lacrosse – getting hit all day, every day. I was really scared of the ball.
That’s enough to scar you for life.
Yeah, and I played awfully all through my freshman year. But then I got over it, and it was okay. And then my team used to hit me a lot too, but not so much anymore.
Do you get mad at them if they leave you covered in welts?
Yeah. Every year there’s a new bruiser, someone who hits me all the time.
During football practices, the quarterback will wear a red jersey or something so that the defense knows not to clobber him. Is this the same sort of thing? “Nobody touch Maggie?”
They’re told not to hit me, but it doesn’t always work. But they’ve gotten a lot better. We’ve worked a lot on shooting this year.
But ultimately, this pain is something you’re willing to endure as long as the ball stays out of the net, right?
Yeah, in a game. I don’t even feel it in a game.
Adrenaline is a hell of a drug, eh?
Oh, I know. But in practice, especially on cold days, I just want to hit everyone that hits me. I stare them all down and give them mean looks all the time.
Now, because this is a women’s sport, do any of these little grudges carry over from the field to the locker room?
No, not really.
It’s not a soap opera situation?
No. They know who they are – the ones who hit me. I’m okay with it.

3. In ice hockey, the goalies wear huge pads and use gloves. You’re basically out there with just a stick. How the hell do you block a little ball coming at you at 80 mph? Are you more apt to try with the stick, or will you sacrifice a leg?
Whatever happens to go there. Stick, or leg, or whatever. It’s reactive at this point. You don’t even think about it. Whether it’s your foot that gets there or your stick, it’s reactive. You don’t even feel it.
Are the bruises “war wounds” for you?
Yeah, I look like I have an abusive boyfriend. My legs are covered in bruises, so it’s not very attractive.
Well, winning is attractive, so at least you have that going for you. Which is nice.
Yeah, I mean, you definitely have to stay in position and concentrate on that little ball. My coach always tells me that the ball is my friend.
Yes, an abusive one.
I’ve just been doing it for so long. I’m sure just like with any other goalie, you react to it, but a lot of it is anticipation as well. You kind of know how people are going to shoot – sidearm, high, low, or whatever.
Do you ever wish you could be a field player?
That’s like my dream. My teammates and coaches make fun of me all the time. They’re like, “Get back in your goal! Go away!” I actually just got this mini goalie stick. It’s a lot like a field stick, because I secretly really do want to be a field player.
Well, it’s not a secret anymore.
I like to play in the field at captain’s practices, but I always get yelled at.
You should ask Coach Graap to put you in for a few minutes at the last home game or something.
No, I’m really out of shape. I run a few times up and down the field and I’m done. I have so much respect for the field players.

4. The women’s lacrosse team has had a lot of success over the past several years. You’ve already started off well; should we expect the excellence to continue?
Yes, this is definitely the best team I’ve been on since I’ve been here.
So you have pretty high expectations?
Definitely. I got to try on some of the Ivy [Champion] rings when the guys got theirs. I made them give them to me and let me put them on. I really want to get a ring this year. It would be a good way to go out.
That’s the dream, to pull a Jordan and go out on top. You know, the second time. Before he came back and stunk.
Absolutely. That’s definitely our goal this season.
Do you enjoy being the last line of defense for a championship-caliber team?
Definitely. I wouldn’t be playing goalie at this level if I didn’t.

5. You’re going to be a “retired” collegiate athlete in about six weeks. How does that feel?
Good! It’s going to be great.
Really? You’ve been playing lacrosse since you were a kid. Will it be easy to walk away?
Well, it’s going to be weird, but it’s going to be nice. My roommate is a women’s hockey player, so she’s living the life now.
Doing all the stuff that normal college kids do?
Yeah. But it’ll be weird, too.
Do you think you’ll miss it?
I haven’t really thought about it all that much. I mean, I only have three more months of lacrosse, so “live it up.” I have to enjoy it while I can.
See, I’m very boring. I don’t know why you wanted to do this interview with me.
Brian Tsao interviewed one of your teammates last year, and they said that he should’ve interviewed you. You’re funny, apparently. I’m just going on hearsay.

6. Explain the “goggles” to me.
What, the things that the field players wear?
Yeah, the goggle-mask-thingies. They’re the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen in my life.
Yeah, they are pretty ridiculous. I don’t know, it’s supposed to protect them from getting hit in the face I guess.
At least you get to wear the cool hockey mask.
It’s not a hockey mask! It’s the same mask that the men’s team wears.
No, but it’s the full-length-don’t-screw-with-me-I’m-the-goalie mask. It’s cool.
Yeah, but we don’t have any lame designs on it. That was my old helmet. Now I have to wear a white one and it looks like I have an egg on my head.

7. Lacrosse is one of those sports where the rules differ between genders, specifically in regards to contact. You’re already wearing these ridiculous goggles, why not put on all the pads and play the same game the men do?
I wouldn’t want to play with men’s rules.
Really? Why is that?
They wear pads and equipment, but we don’t. If I was in the field, I wouldn’t want people hitting me.
No, no – you guys would be wearing pads. Gloves, masks, the whole nine yards. Same rules.
But I would never want to be a men’s lacrosse player. You couldn’t pay me to stand in front of those shots.
No, you wouldn’t be playing against men. Do you understand what I’m saying? Why are there separate rules? Why does women’s lacrosse eliminate contact?
I don’t know. I like our rules. They work.
But don’t you ever feel like cross-checking someone into the stands?
No, I don’t really get that urge.
You’re killing me here.
I did push a girl in a game recently, which I’d never done before.
Why did you push her?
I had the ball and I threw it to someone else, but she just kept running at me, so I shoved her out of the way.
Did you get a penalty for that?
No, they didn’t see it.
Well, see? There’s contact inherent in the game. Why not play with it in the rules?
I guess we’re not as tough as the men are. I don’t know!
Hey, I’m just doing my job. The kids want to know.
I’m boring! I told you!
Certainly, you guys are as tough as the men. Don’t give me that.
Yeah, but I wouldn’t want to be out there if people were hitting me. I like the rules the way they are.

8. Last semester, your coach, Jenny Graap, got married to one of my old rowing coaches in Sage Chapel.
The Danimal?
He’s the man. Were you at the wedding?
Me too. Wasn’t it nice?
I liked it. The guy who did the ceremony was talking about Watkins, their little dog. He comes to all of our practices.
I’m glad they chose some of your teammates to sing, because we would have been a disaster.
Yeah, [freshman Halsey Diakow] is a great singer.
Who do think wears the pants in that relationship?
I mean, I’m going to have to say Jenny. But, one time we went rowing as a team with Dan down at the boathouse. Jenny was trying to tell us how to row, and he was like, “Excuse me? Who’s the coach?” I think about that when she’s yelling at us.
Aren’t they just the cutest couple in the world?
Yeah, they’re very “mini.” And they have their mini dog.
You realize that you’re going to be running extra wind sprints for this, right?
I know! Can you please not put this in there?
I’ll see what I can do.

9. If you could have dinner with any three people (not including Zach Jones), who would they be and why?
Whoa. That’s almost like a real interview question.
I like to believe that’s what we’re doing here.
I don’t do those. I don’t have a job.
Arts and Sciences, right?
Me too! High five!
Yeah, all the AEM majors are like –
They’re already hooked up way ahead of time. I don’t want to get a job. Okay, I’d probably have dinner with that guy over there, the one sitting behind you.
[Turns around] Who? The guy in the pirate outfit?
I’d want to know why he’s in his Pirates of the Caribbean getup.
He’s looking over this way now. Quick, give me someone else.
Um, I don’t know. I really don’t. I told you, I’m boring.
No! You didn’t tell me! When I emailed you, you didn’t say, “No, don’t interview me! I stink!”
Look, all I do is sit at home and eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and watch Harry Potter!
Hey, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Do you like the new movie?
I bought it yesterday and I watched it last night. And then I went to bed and I read more of the fifth book.
So, you haven’t read the sixth one yet?
No, I’m still on The Order of the Phoenix. I just started reading it when I got back to school.
Oh, the sixth book is going to blow your mind. YOUR MIND.
I’d have dinner with Harry Potter.
The character, or the actor?
Definitely the character. And, I don’t know, I think I could go for a dinner with my brother. I haven’t seen him in a really long time. My brother and his wife.
How old is your brother?
He’s 26.
And he’s married? Holy shit, I’m 24! That’s crazy! I can’t even care for a fern at this point!
Yeah, they got married last May.
You’re going to be an aunt.
Nooooooo. I hope not. They can’t have kids yet.
Have you explained this to them? Do they know the rules?
I think that they know this. They’re only 26. They can’t have kids yet.
That’s not what I learned in high school health class.

10. What’s the hottest men’s team at Cornell?
I knew this was coming.
Then you’ll have a tremendous answer for me, I’m sure.
Why does it always have to be a “team?”
You realize I’m a sportswriter, right?
Yeah I know, but why does it always have to be a hot team on campus?
You realize this column runs in the sports section, right?
Okay, I’m glad we understand each other.
How about the “winning” team?
Which one?
A team. The winning team. I don’t know. You said it earlier – winning’s hot.
Winning is hot, but you’ve still got to narrow this down for me.
I can’t just go with the “winning” team?
Did I stutter? Is the hottest team for you the one that wins on that given day?
Maybe. I don’t know.
I thought you said you had thought about this.
I did!
Not enough, apparently.
I’m not ballsy enough to say what I want to say.
Sure you are! You’re bombarded with balls every day!
I think I’m going to have to go with – there’s this one kid, a short kid on the men’s squash team. I’m going to have to go with him.
Do you know his name?
Are you screwing with me?
Do I know his name? No, I don’t know his name. I’m going with men’s squash. I have a lot of friends on the squash team.
So, you just like this one guy? Are you dating this guy?
Would you like to be?
Why not?
I know he’s hot, but I don’t know if I’d want to date him. I don’t even know him. What if I don’t like his personality?

Archived article by Per Ostman
Sun Senior Writer