Considering how much he’s accomplished as a lacrosse player since then, it’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, the game was brand-new for Austin Rossi.
“I began playing lacrosse my freshman year,” the senior defenseman at defending Nassau County (NY) Class C champion Friends Academy said. “Up until eighth grade, I was heavily into baseball.”
Then, the summer entering ninth grades, a few friends talked Rossi into giving lacrosse a try.
“I attended a few clinics as a midfielder that summer to try and prepare for the upcoming season on JV,” he said. “Once the JV season started, I quickly switched to defense, where I began to see much more success than I saw previously at midfielder.
“Great teammates and supportive coaches encouraged me to work hard, and lacrosse quickly became my passion.”
Now, it’s become his college future. Rossi has committed to play at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, as reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider special coverage section.
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Rossi, a righty, is an athletic player with ideal size who excels on clears. You can watch his highlight reel here.
“I enjoy taking the ball up past the midfield and I am usually good at finding an open short stick to clear to,” he said. “I also try to communicate as much as possible and I slide hard with my body. I would say I am best at playing team defense and encouraging the defense to work together fluidly.”
Rossi is a captain on the Friends football team who starts at left guard and middle linebacker. He leads the team with 43 tackles.
What were the main factors in your decision?
RPI has an great reputation for its academics which was probably the biggest factor in my decision. I was also extremely impressed with the athletic facilities which I got to experience first hand at National Invitational 175.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Amherst, Williams, Connecticut College, Tufts and Oneonta were all schools I had been in contact with. I visited Amherst and Williams.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
Two areas I am working hard at to improve are picking up ground balls and throwing takeaway checks when on ball.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I played for the Long Island Express (Orange) as well as the Long Island Lobsters.
The camps I participated in this summer include the Amherst Good to Great, National 175 and the Under Armour Shootout. I made the all-star team at Good to Great. I also attended numerous tournaments with the Express and the Lobsters.
Any final thoughts?
I would like to thank my family for supporting my love for lacrosse and for willingly taking me to all the camps and tournaments I attended the past few summers. I would also like to thank the coaches I have had the pleasure of playing under over the past four years for supporting me and pushing me to succeed.
It has truly been a honor to play for the Friends Academy lacrosse team, and I am proud to say we are the Class C Nassau County champions. Look out for us this year though as we look to make it even further than we did last year.
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