March 1, 2012

Give & Go: Kent Denver, U.S. U19 Midfielder Matt Florence

by Matt Forman |

"'Life In The Fast Lane' by The Eagles would be the best song to describe my life," U.S. U19 midfielder Matt Florence said. Is there something about jumping in that song?
© Trevor Brown

The Kent Denver (Colo.) High, U.S. U19 team midfielder and Virginia recruit dishes on Dr. King, beef jerky and chemistry.

Who is your favorite athlete?
Wayne Gretzky. When people say "The Great One," you automatically assume they are talking about Gretzky. That says a lot about someone and what they've accomplished throughout their career — not only as an athlete, but as a person as well.

What's one thing you can't live without?
My iPod. Music is a big part of my life, and whether I'm working out or traveling my iPod is definitely the first thing by my side.

Who in lacrosse is destined to be a reality TV star?
Joe Leonard on the U.S. U19 men's national team. He's one of the funniest people I've ever met and could easily fill up a 30-minute timeslot every day.

Do you Google yourself?
Ha! No, I have never Googled myself. After making the U19 team my friends would occasionally joke around with me and type my name into Google to see what would come up, but Googling myself is not something I would ever do.

If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be pretty cool. He was a man far ahead of his time that fought for peace and unified our nation. Being able to talk to one of America's true heroes would be incredible.

What's one thing that always puts you in a good mood?
My dog, Pepper. She's an adorable black lab that is my best friend. I've had her for as long as I can remember, and if I'm ever having a bad day she's the best thing to cheer me up.

Where did you go on your last vacation?
Westerly, Rhode Island. My family has a house there that we go to for the whole month of July where all my relatives meet. We go to the beach and just relax. It's a great time to catch up and be a family again.

What's one thing lacrosse really needs?
More TV exposure. Lacrosse is one of the most exciting sports to watch, and people need to see how fast and electric the game has become.

It's 2022 – Where are you and what are you doing?
I'm a warm weather kind of guy, so I hope to be living somewhere in California with a super hot wife while working and coaching lacrosse in my free time!

What's been the proudest moment of your lacrosse career?
Making the U.S. U19 team, definitely. Knowing that I'll be representing the U.S. in the world games this summer is special and something I will be proud of for the rest of my life.

Do you have any pregame rituals?
Before the national anthem of every game, I have a piece of beef jerky for good luck. I know it's weird, but it started my sophomore year during football season when my coach pulled me over to the side, handed me the piece of jerky, and said, "Play like a star today." I ended up having one of the best games of my career, so I've done it ever since.

What's your favorite moment of a lacrosse game?
The opening faceoff — the adrenaline rush that occurs when the first whistle is blown and the battle for the ground ball that ensues.

One word you would use to describe yourself?


(from Penn senior attacker Erin Brennan) If you could pick one song to describe yourself, what would it be?
"Life In The Fast Lane" by The Eagles would be the best song to describe my life. I'm a very energetic guy that likes to have fun and typically forgets to slow things down and just take it easy, but I'm working on it!

Double Overtime

(from Brendan Staudt, Chester Springs, Pa.) What's the most important thing a lacrosse team can have and why?
Chemistry. You can have a team filled with superstars, but if there's no chemistry, the team as a whole will fail.

Pose a question for our next subject.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?

For You: Submit a Double Overtime Question

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A version of this article appears in the March issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 400,000-plus members today to start your monthly subscription.

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