Neil Gollogly, an athletic midfielder who excels in unsettled situations, has committed to Siena College.
Following his junior season at Ridgefield, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Gollogly helped Team Superstar 2012 Blue finish 29-2 over the summer, with wins in the Maverik Bigtime Shootout and Bulldog Bash. The team has also been invited to Dick’s Tournament of Champions in Florida in December.
Gollogly, who is currently in the midst of football season for the Tigers, has the size, speed and clearing ability to make an immediate impact for new Siena coach John Svec, who takes over for Brian Brecht, who left the Saints’ Loudonville campus to take over as head coach at Rutgers.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Neil on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision to attend Siena?
My parents and I were just kidding about how many times we visited Siena – maybe six or seven times over the last few months. On my first visit, Coach Svec had just started that very same week, so we both took the admission’s campus tour together.
Every time I returned to the college for a visit, I later left for home even more confident that Siena was a really great match for me.
Siena has a terrific business program that offers all kinds of internships and a strong alumni network. I really liked the campus setting, school size and the Albany area. I am also a huge college hoops fan, so you know I will be at all their basketball games.
The real closers in my decision though were the coaches and the players at Siena. Coach Svec’s down-to-earth style works well for me and all of the lax players that I had a chance to hang with during my overnight visit are great guys. Everybody talks about Siena’s lacrosse family and I really sensed it. This is a great opportunity for me to be a part of a lacrosse program that has both camaraderie and success.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Other schools that I considered were D-I and D-III programs – Albany, Holy Cross and Manhattan along with Wesleyan, Connecticut College and Skidmore. I visited each of those schools at least a couple of times and met with all of the coaches except Skidmore.
As a rising senior, I was very fortunate that coaches let me defer my decision until all of my official visits were done in September. I found that coaches genuinely cared about helping me make my decision based on all aspects of the college experience.
What adjustments do you think you will need to make to play at the next level?
Coach Svec expects his guys to play as hard as they can for as long as they can, applying pressure on opponents on both ends of the field at every moment. That full-speed style of play means that I have some serious training and conditioning in my future. I definitely need to get stronger, tougher and more aggressive.
I also need to spend more time sharpening my stick skills, particularly improving my off-hand and shooting on the run. I really want to upgrade my offensive game and scoring contributions, starting with my senior year at Ridgefield.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My speed on transitions, especially when a quick clear keeps the opponent’s long pole and defensive middies off the field. I would like to think that I am aggressive on defense, dodge well and find the open man to finish.
What players have helped influence you as you made your way through varsity?
Ridgefield was led by some very gifted seniors last season. In fact, six of them are now playing at schools like North Carolina and Denver. “Bucky” (Andrew Buckanavage) always stood out not only for his lax talents but his work ethic. Matt Dighton is another middie that I really respected, played tough defense. Guys like Matt Hrvatin, Aiden Scott and Matt Shannon always seemed to deliver for us in the clutch. Our seniors were great to play with and learn from – they led us to the state title!
My coaches at Ridgefield and Team Superstar have also had a big impact on my development at the high school level. Besides learning from some of the best, my coaches know how to have fun and win.
When did you first realize you had the potential to play at the college level?
Playing with really talented friends on Team Superstar gave me the confidence that, like most of them, I could also play at the next level. Coach (Mike) Solazzo had encouraged me to reach out to college coaches back in the spring and our summer tournament schedule gave all of us plenty of exposure. My Ridgefield coaches (Roy Colsey and Tom Galione) have also been very supportive of me throughout the recruiting process.
* For more info on Neil, check out his player profile by clicking here.
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