Who the Buc is Gabe Pearlman?
The Round Table sat down with long-stick-swingin Gabe Pearlman
Round Table: Where are you from?
Gabe Pearlman: I am from Hawthorne Woods, IL. It’s about an hour and a half away from here probably.
RT: What’s your major?
GP: I am an applied chemistry major and a biology minor.
RT: How long have you been playing lacrosse?
GP: Since like fifth grade. So about 10 years now.
RT: What position do you play?
GP: I’m an LSM, which means a long-stick midfielder.
RT: What does that entail?
GP: That means I play defense and also sub in for some of our midfielders. It’s usually for an offensive player and they come off for me.
RT: That sounds like a lot of running back and forth.
GP: Yeah, it’s definitely a lot of running. I run from the box into ‘D’ and then into ‘L’, so a lot of running.
RT: What are some of the biggest challenges about playing LSM?
GP: Probably the running. And then I would say making good decisions in transitions. A lot of times when I come in onto the field, the play is still developing so I have to make smart decisions. I definitely have to pay attention before I’m on the field.
RT: Have you always played this position?
GP: No, actually. In high school I started off playing ‘close D’. That’s just regular defender. Then I switched to longstick, and then I switched back. When I got to Beloit I started playing LSM again.
RT: How would you compare this season to your past ones?
GP: This season’s actually fairly interesting. We had a lot of turnover. We lost a pretty big senior class that had a lot of good stuff for us, so the first half of the season kinda reminded me of my freshman and sophomore year when we were still figuring out what kind of team we were going to be and what our play style was. But at the end of the season we’re actually in a good place that’s kinda similar to how we were last year, which is pretty helpful.
RT: How is it different this year being a senior on the team?
GP: It’s a lot weirder than I thought it was going to be. I wasn’t really thinking about anything as like being my last go around until now. It’s weird to see how like you’re really passing the torch and the kids you saw come into the program as recruits and freshmen. Next year they’re going to be the leaders and it’s going to be on them to lead. It kinda feels a little detached. When you hear new recruits coming in you think, “Oh I’m never gonna play with that guy.” It’s weird.
RT: What does your typical practice look like?
GP: Usually we do some stick work at the beginning and kinda just keep our sticks hot. We work on playing in transition. A lot of what our play style used to rely on was playing fast. It’s still a major part- being able to get the ball up and out in transition cleanly. So we do a lot of that. And then towards the end we’ll do six-on-six and iron out the details and try to get reps in.
RT: This spring has been crazy because there’s been snow through April. How has the team been dealing with the extended winter weather?
GP: I mean as long as the field gets plowed we’ll be out there. Some days when it’s not plowed we’ll still be out there. So unlike a lot of sports, we’re able to play when it’s cold or even too cold. It’s been a little weird because sometimes we don’t know if we’ll have the field space or not, but other than that it’s been fine. We’ve noticed we actually play a little bit better when it’s cold and kinda messy out, so we don’t really mind it too much.
RT: Why do you think this makes you play better?
GP: Honestly I think sometimes our play style gets a little out of control, but we are pretty good at forcing other teams to make mistakes. We’re used to dealing with our own mistakes and kinda running the ball back and dealing with it, whereas other teams just kinda get a little bit more flustered than we do. Ideally.
RT: How are you feeling about your last conference game coming up this weekend?
GP: It’s a little weird, but I’m pretty confident that we’ll actually be going on a couple games this year, so we have our last regular season game coming up and then we have conference play. I’m feeling pretty good about that- we’ve got some scores to settle.
RT: What’s your favorite part about lacrosse?
GP: Probably just being with the team. It’s always more fun when you’ve been playing with the same group of people for a while and you know them more personally and how they like to play. It’s just fun to get out there with the same group of people and know you’re all working for the same thing.
RT: Do you have a favorite team memory from Beloit?
GP: There’s a lot. So last year we were out on the East Coast for our spring break trip and we played this team Cazenovia. We just came off a really bad game and we knew everyone was looking at us like we’re just this bum team from the Midwest. We came out and we just played a crazy game. We did all the right things we wanted to and came out with the win. I think it was 17-16 and it was just like a running gun game the whole way. And we were playing at John Hopkins, which is Homewood Field, and that’s like one of the most famous fields in lacrosse. At first it kinda sucked when we realized this, but it’s kinda cool when you think about it, but there was no film of the game. We did a lot of hidden ball tricks and some cool stuff like that and no one will ever see it. But the people who were there say that almost makes it more special because only we know what happened.
RT: Besides lacrosse, how are you involved on campus?
GP: I’m in Mortar Board this year, which is like a thing for seniors, so it was interesting to see what other people in my class have been up to. I used to go to frisbee a lot, but I haven’t had time for that since I need to find a job.
RT: Do you have any plans for next year?
GP: Not yet. I’ll probably end up being at home for the summer and just coaching and looking for more jobs. Hopefully something will turn up soon though.
RT: Do you plan to continue lacrosse at any level after graduation?
GP: Yeah if I can, definitely. There are men’s leagues and I’ve been looking to play a lot of box hopefully, which is indoor lacrosse. It’s a little bit of a different style of game and I’ve only played once or twice, so it would be cool to get into once I’m a little bit older. It’s a lot less running too.
RT: Any message for the fans?
GP: Go Bucs!