Growing up in a lacrosse-playing family, Ella Bonafede has never had to search long to find someone to practice with.
“I’ve been playing lacrosse in my backyard with my three brothers for as long as I remember,” said the sophomore midfielder for St. Anthony’s (N.Y.), which ranked No. 3 in the latest Nike/US Lacrosse national girls’ Top 25.
One of Bonafede’s brothers, Sam Bonafede, who plays for St. A’s rival, Chaminade, is a junior midfielder ranked among in Top 25 himself — boys lacrosse players in the nation regardless of class.
Ella, meanwhile, is one of the leading sophomore girls players in the nation. And her game bears a striking similarity. Both players are quick-footed and crafty, and both have exceptional stick skills.
Both will also be playing at the Division I level.
Sam Bonafede committed to the admissions process at Princeton.
Ella Bonafede, meanwhile, made a verbal commitment last week to Duke, as first reported at Twitter.com/joe_lombardi.
In addition to her speed and skills, Ella is a high-energy player who seemingly never slows down.
“I am a very active person,” she said in her LaxLessons.com player profile. “When I am not playing lacrosse, I like to run, hike and play tennis. When I am relaxing, I like to watch old movies.”
What were the main factors in your decision?
I was looking for college that was excellent both academically and athletically. Duke University has a strong tradition in both. I also enjoy the warmer weather!
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I was also considering Northwestern, Boston College, the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown. I visited Northwestern, BC, UPennsylvania and Hofstra.
What are you strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Speed, agility and work ethic are my greatest strengths as a player. I would say that that my style would be relentless hustle. Ground balls, dodging and shooting on the run are strong parts of my game.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I began playing soccer in kindergarten and played competitively with my travel team through high school. I started playing lacrosse in second grade and have loved it since. I also play tennis and ski.
You are from a lacrosse family. Can you tell us the influence that it has had on you?
I’ve been playing lacrosse in my backyard with my three brothers for as long as I remember. I guess you could say that they were my first teammates. They have definitely made me tough and determined. Having a goalie at home has been great.
What travel team did you play on and what were some of the big showcase events you participated in last summer?
My summer travel team is Long Island Top Guns. We played at the All-American Showcase, the National Draw, Club National Championship and the U-15 National Championships.
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