Sometimes, a player’s outlook on the college he is planning to join changes after making a college commitment.
But few have experienced the scenario Matt Leto did.
The senior midfielder at defending New York State Class B champion Garden City decided to continue his lacrosse career at the University of Richmond.
The decision was based entirely on his comfort level with the school and the chance to continue playing the sport at a top-notch club program.
But that all changed this past September when the Spiders announced they would be upgrading to the Division I level.
Now, Leto is among a growing group of tristate players who will be a part of Richmond’s rise.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound right-hander will be a freshman on the first Richmond D-I team, which will be launching in 2014.
What were the main factors in your decision and when did you finalize your decision?
I fell in love with school the moment I stepped on the campus. UR had been recruiting me for over a year, but I had some reluctance because of its club program status.
There was some sense that Richmond could go D-I over the next couple of years, but I was as shocked as anyone when it happened so soon.
I thought the worst that could happen is that I would be attending a top academic school on the most beautiful campus I’ve ever seen and playing on a club team aspiring to be D-I. What did happen is history. UR is now D-I with a top coach in (Head) Coach (Dan) Chemotti and I couldn’t be any happier.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Washington & Lee, Middlebury, Lafayette, Dartmouth, Wesleyan and Haverford.
What are your thoughts on joining a newly launched D-I program?
It will be an honor to step on the field with the inaugural Richmond D-I lacrosse team. Coach Chemotti helped bring Loyola a national championship (as an assistant coach) with discipline, hard work and sacrifice.
There is not doubt that this will be a great program as well, but it will not happen overnight. There will be many obstacles along the way, but I am sure the players that Coach Chemotti assembles will be up for the challenge and represent the university well.
I’m excited and grateful to have the opportunity to be part of the Spiders’ first D-I team
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I would say I am a defensive-minded midfielder. I rely on my speed, hustle and tenacity on the field to contest everything.
What travel team did you play on this past summer and what showcase events did you appear in?
For the Love of the Game (FLG) 2013 since ninth grade. I attended Maverick Showtime Recruiting Camp (2010, 2011) and Nike Blue Chip Lacrosse Camp (2011, 2012).
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