Bay Shore sophomore selected for national U15 lacrosse team
Emily Scorcia is a hardworking, competitive athlete with confidence in her ability to perform well on a lacrosse field, particularly low, on defense.
Scorcia, 15, is a sophomore at Bay Shore Senior High School and has been a part of varsity lacrosse in the district since last year, as a freshman. She also plays on Long Island Top Guns travel team, garnering experience in the craft at a regional level.
Leading up to this past summer, though, younger lacrosse players across the nation began training for the opportunity to be selected to inaugural USA teams: Boys and Girls U15 and U17 teams. These teams fall under the National Team Development Program and is a method to hone and recruit future players for Team USA.
After whittling down the voluminous competition (over 1,300 total applicants) who signed up for regional tryouts in June, a three-day combine in Sparks, Md., ultimately solidified the 22 slots for each respective team. Scorcia was selected to the Girls U15 national team and is listed as a defender.
“I was shocked when I got the call, and I was so excited,” she said, noting the amount of dedication and attention to work ethic necessary to compete with and against star athletes from their respective areas of the nation.
She participated in the regional tryout on June 13, the combine in Maryland from Aug. 21-23, and was informed on Aug. 30 that she indeed made the squad. In July, when she received the invitation to participate in the combine the following month, Scorcia said she was faced with mixed emotions.
“I was so excited at first. It is a little nerve-wracking going in, especially the night before and the day of knowing that you are playing against such great competition,” she said. “But you also cannot let the nerves overwhelm you because you really have to go in confident, know you are there for a reason, and just play your best.”
The combine in Maryland was much more technical than the regional tryout and focused on specific skills as well as strength, conditioning and endurance evaluations. Scorcia said she believes she performed well at the combine and contributed such to her scheduled exercise routine and other relevant preparation. This has included private trainings, trainings with travel coaches, as well as on her own.
“I have to make sure I am always giving it my all because if I am cutting workouts short, or am not doing my best to prepare, then you have a little bit of a disadvantage going into the tryout,” Scorcia said.
Primarily a defender, Scorcia explained the notable attributes she possesses that translate into solid defensive fundamentals and technical skills necessary to succeed on that side of midfield: speed and reflexive know-how, refined and opportunistic footwork, a constant emphasis on endurance, effective communication, sound fundamentals, the ability to adjust, and an aggressive and confident in-game mentality.
“Defense is really the backbone of the team,” she said. “If we have a great offense, we can score a lot of goals, but you cannot just win scoring goals because you will get scored on as well.”
Scorcia said that teammates need to be on the same page and constantly talking to each other, too, as the collapse of a defensive scheme at a particular moment in a game could very well prove to be significant to the final score, or even the turning point of an entire game.
“Communicating is always really important because you are not playing by yourself, and especially on defense we always have to communicate because people need to switch—there are picks, cutting…” she said. “With that, communicating, especially with the goalies, too, everybody has to be on the same page to really have a solid defense.”
She also highlighted work ethic when discussing elite athletic performance. She said maintaining high expectations in terms of her own effort has benefited her game, and sticking to such while participating in any sport has been key.
Scorcia played soccer with the school up until this year. As a midfielder, she said her endurance was not only tested each time on the field, but also improved consistently.
“It is really important to have good endurance, especially for practice because we do a lot of different drills, and we’re always running,” she said, contributing what she honed on the pitch to her improved game on the lacrosse field. “You really have to be able to run the whole practice.”
Also currently on the Bay Shore track-and-field and field hockey teams, Scorcia said both ventures have contributed to her success. With background in organized basketball, too, what is called for in a player for all these other sports have served well toward her most prioritized commitment.
Since making the national team, Scorcia and her teammates partook in the USA Fall Classic in Maryland in October, where the various USA teams took on their Canadian counterparts.
“It was a huge honor to represent the United States of America,” she said, “and it was really exciting to play with and against such great players.”
Scorcia doled thanks and recognition to her parents for their continuous desire to see her succeed, interest in what she loves to do, and constant willingness to transport her wherever lacrosse has called her thus far.
Her father, Anthony, expressed that he is quite proud of Emily.
“For any parent, it is always enjoyable to watch a sport that they love,” he said. “Now that they are going to do it while representing the United States of America, it almost brought a tear to my eye because you’re happy for your child. You just want them to responsibly pursue the things that make them happy. And to do it at that level is extremely gratifying.”
Scoria’s father made particular note of the amount of support Emily has received from the Bay Shore community and everyone in the school district who have enabled her to tackle every opportunity she can in her athletic success.
She also specifically recognized her lacrosse coach from Bay Shore, Michelle Ceraso; her field hockey coaches from Bay Shore, Mary Drago and Taylor Harney; her travel coaches, Shannon and Andrew Smith; and her Team USA coaches, Caitlyn Phipps and Molly Ford.
Scorcia made note that all of her past and present coaches have been integral pieces of her support system who elevated her to becoming a nationally recognized lacrosse player. Additionally, she recognized her teammates on the travel and varsity levels for their support, too.