Athlete of the Week Q & A: Connor Buczek
Each week, BRSN sits down for a Q & A session with the BRSN Athlete of the Week. This week, we caught up with Athlete of the Week Senior Cornell Men’s Lacrosse midfielder Connor Buczek following his outstanding six-point week in wins against Canisius and Hofstra to break the school record for most career points by a midfielder.
BRSN: Connor, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. On Saturday afternoon, you scored twice in order to move past Max Seibald and break the school record for the most career points by a midfielder with 143. How does it feel to accomplish such a feat and be mentioned with the likes of one of the program’s most outstanding midfielders in Seibald?
CB: It’s incredibly humbling to be mentioned along with one of the best players in our program’s storied history. Obviously, it’s exciting to break any record, but I am glad that it happened in a game when so many other guys played well, and we got a decisive win. This late in the season, winning is the only thing that matters, so it was great that we were able to secure a big win, and I was fortunate enough to break the record in the process.
BRSN: You moved within one point of tying Seibald’s record on Tuesday after recording four points on three goals and one assist. Heading into Saturday’s game, did you think at all about making history and what it would mean for you to break this record?
CB: When a milestone like that is in reach, it’s tough not to think about it, but it wasn’t something that I went into the game with the intention of chasing. We knew Hofstra was a talented team and was going to test us from start to finish, so my focus was on helping our team execute and win the game. The record is great, and I’m sure when this year is over and I reflect back on my Cornell career, it’s going to mean a lot to me, but, for now, we have a lot of lacrosse left to play, and I’m just focusing on helping our team win.
BRSN: After taking a very tough loss to Harvard last Saturday, which was your very first Ivy League loss of the season, how was the team able to focus and bounce back with two big wins against Canisius and Hofstra?
CB: We have a great group of guys in our locker room, and, coming off the Harvard game, we knew that we had to refocus and start executing better in all facets of the game. We knew we did not play up to our potential in the Harvard game, and we let one get away from of us, so a renewed focus allowed us to move forward and begin preparing for our next opponent. Our senior class led the way and pushed our guys to a new level, and I felt that in the Hofstra game, we played our most complete sixty minutes of the season so far.
BRSN: Coach Kerwick said that he thought the team’s great performance on Saturday was its first full 60 minute effort of the season. How were you guys able to come together and finish a complete game? How can you maintain this effort throughout the remainder of the season?
CB: We got a great effort from our leaders all week leading up to the game that trickled down through the rest of the team. Guys like Jordan Stevens, Matt Donovan, Dan Lintner, and John Hogan brought a focus and intensity to practice that challenged every player on our roster to improve their play. The leaders on our team realize that the ceiling for this team is incredibly high, and, with their help, we are getting a little closer to reaching that full potential one day at a time.
BRSN: You finish the season with two key games against Brown and Princeton, especially with the Tigers who currently sit with you tied for first place in the Ivy League. What is your personal and the team’s focus and preparation like heading into this weekend?
CB: Our main focus is continuing to improve. We wanted to push the ball transition more and capitalize on our shooting opportunities on Saturday, and I think we did a great job of that. Moving forward into our last two Ivy League games, continuing to improve in these two areas as well as fine tuning all other aspects of our game will be crucial for us if we want to beat Brown and Princeton.
BRSN: What are some of your interests outside of lacrosse?
CB: Outside of lacrosse, I like to hang out with my friends and spend time outside when the weather permits. There’s no place quite like Ithaca in the spring, so my friends and I enjoy relaxing at the gorges and on our porch when we have some free time.
BRSN: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you that you would like to share with fans of Cornell and, more specifically, Big Red Lacrosse?
CB: I have very little artistic talent, but I’ve always wanted to play an instrument. I would love to learn how to play the guitar when I have a little more time after I graduate and my lacrosse career ends.