Matt Vinc of the New York Titans

This week we speak with New York Titans goalie Matt Vinc. Matt had a fantastic Junior career in St. Catharines, winning two Minto Cups and three times being named the OLA Playoff MVP. He was also named the Minto Cup MVP in 2001. Matt was drafted in 2005, 6th overall by the San Jose Stealth.  After seeing limited action in San Jose, this season he is in his first full season in New York as the starter.

GM: When did you start playing lacrosse and when did you start playing in goal?

MV: I started playing lacrosse at the age of 10 and my first year was in net, since I was already playing net in hockey. I played goal in field and box until I went to university and in university I started playing long stick.

GM: Who was your biggest influence in learning the position when you were younger?

MV: I looked up to the goalies playing junior A in St. Kitts. The first game I went to was the Minto cup Championships at Garden City arena. They had two good goalies during that stretch in Clayton Henry and Jay Lacombe.
But ultimately my brothers helped me learn the position. They forced me in net so they could use the sticks they picked up at the game. As I started playing my brother Eric helped coach and develop my game using hockey oriented goalie drills.

GM: Give us one or two of your lacrosse Heroes when you were younger.

MV: Even though I was a goalie, I looked up to the Gait brothers, hoping one day I good make a big save on one of them.

GM: In your Junior career you had a magnificent 5 year stretch winning 2 Minto Cups and a number of individual awards along the way (3 Time OLA MVP in the Playoffs among others). Describe your most fond memories of your time playing Junior A in St. Catharines.

MV: My favourite memory was winning the 2001 Minto, the guys in the room were like a family and we were so close; just hanging out with the guys at the team sponsor “Time Out”. This establishment goes hand in hand with the double blue.

GM: In your rookie season of Major Series Lacrosse (2004) you actually scored a goal while playing in net. How did that happen?

MV: I would like to say that I dangled the goalie, but I think John Tavares took a shot off of my shoulder and it ricocheted off of the glass into the empty net.

GM: In 2005 you were the 6th pick overall by San Jose in the NLL draft. Did you feel the pressure of being selected that high and how did you handle it.

MV: It was an honour being drafted so high. I think I didn’t really feel that much pressure because I went into a situation where I wasn’t going to get a lot of minutes. They had Coz (Anthony Cosmo) and Brandon Miller, two great goalies. So I didn’t feel the pressure until this year when I was actually going to play and then people kind of forgot what position I got drafted.

GM: You were a standout Field defender for four years at Canisius College. Who were some of the players you played with or against while at Canisius?

MV: Well we had some good alumni players at my time at Canisius. Some of the guys are in the NLL, like Mark Miyashita, and Dan Carey. The guys I remember playing the most are buddies like Sean Greenhalgh at Cornell, and making some great road trips to play at Johns Hopkins and at Duke.

GM: You also played on the impressive Defense of Team Canada’s World Field Lacrosse Champions in 2006. Describe your experience on that team.

MV: This was just an incredible experience for me. Playing for your country is something you can explain but putting into words; it’s something else. The whole team was awesome. We had great character guys, and had some of the best players in the world on that team. It was truly an honour.

GM: Why the difference in position on the Floor (as a Goalie) as opposed to the Field (as a defender)? Do you find either game or either position more fun than the other?

MV: Well when I went to Canisius as a freshman, we had four goalies. I think I was fighting for the top spot, but I got bored waiting for my turn to go back in net in practices. So I picked up a pole and got some reps. Mearnsy thought I would help the team more by playing out. I started my first game as a pole. I think I was his little project. I loved the opportunity to finally get out of the pipes; it was a different change of scenery. I love both positions, and I love the fact that I have the option to get out of the cage.

GM: Many goalies have some pretty “interesting” rituals. Do you have any that you can share with us?

MV: I think I might have too many to reveal. But during junior I ate a Big Crunch combo before every game. This is one I had to get rid of, because it was just too unhealthy. I also juggle before every game; it helps with my hand eye coordination.

GM: You have an exciting team in New York that plays hard each and every night. You must be excited about your future with the organization?

MV: I don’t think I could ask for a better situation. We are for the most part a young team. We are growing and gaining experience as a team. I think the Titans future is very bright, and I am happy to get my opportunity with this team. It is a great organization, with great ownership and coaches. We are a tough team to play against, that will improve as we gain more experience.

GM: How have you found the excitement or atmosphere of playing in quite possibly the largest sports city in the World?

MV: It’s a little crazy. It truly is an experience. I was in awe the first time I went into Madison Square.

GM: What advice would you give the kids out there that aspire to play in the NLL?

MV: Just practice and keep your head on your shoulders. Playing in the NLL is a realistic goal, that is very attainable if you practice and stay focused.

Fun Questions

GM: I’ve heard that you have a pretty good sense of humour. Can you tell us who the prankster on the Titans is (if it is not yourself)?

MV: That’s a tough one. All of us a up to something all the time. I can tell you the person we like to chirp the most on the team. That is definitely Pat Maddelena. He gets chirped the most because he gets rattled the most. He’s always a target.

GM: Give us two shooters currently playing in the NLL that you do not want shooting on you.

MV: I think every goalie in the league would have to say JT and John Grant. They are both deadly.

GM: Your favourite place in New York (not including Madison Square Garden) is……

MV: I don’t really have a lot of time to visit too much. Don’t really know the city that well.

GM: If you were not a Lacrosse Player you would be……..

MV: I would be a hockey player. You gotta love the NHL.

GM: Give us your ultimate interview (a sports person past or present) and what your first question would be to them.

MV: I would interview “Mario Tremblay” Montreal Canadiens coach 1995.  I would ask him “why did you have to chirp Patrick Roy?”

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1 Comment

  1. i love matt vinc


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