West Islip has sent an astonishing number of players to the collegiate ranks during its emergence as one of the nation’s premier programs during its run of eight straight Suffolk County titles.
Though West Islip, which had won four state titles in five years prior to this season, fell to Farmingdale in the Long Island championship game, the Lions continue to churn out players set to take their skills to the next level.
The latest is senior midfielder Paul Riportella, who has committed to attend the brand-new program at Marquette, which will debut next spring.
Riportella becomes the second West Islip senior to commit to the Golden Eagles’ new D-I program, joining attackman Brendan Smith.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Paul on his commitment:
What were the main factors in your decision to attend Marquette?
When I went out to visit Marquette, I immediately fell in love with the campus and the city and also the coaches are awesome and made it an easy decision.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I was considering Stony Brook, Hofstra, Tampa and Western New England.
What adjustments do you think you will need to make to play at the next level?
I’ll need to improve my stick skills and also my strength to be able to compete at the Division I level.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My strengths as a player are my speed and defense. As a short pole defense is sometimes under sold and that is one of my strongest points as a player.
What players have helped influence you as you made your way through varsity?
My coaches are the best in the country and being able to play with kids I’ve been friends with since elementary school has definitely made me a better player.
When did you first realize you had the potential to play at the college level?
I think as a junior I realized I could play at the next level when I was able to run with the second-line middies for my varsity team.
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