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For Rilea Fusco, lacrosse has been a gift that has kept on giving almost since birth. Above, Rilea with oldest brother Frankie celebrating a lacrosse stick Christmas gift.
When it comes to lacrosse in the Hudson Valley, there may be no family affair that is thriving any more right now than the Fusco clan.
It started with father, Frank, an All-America defenseman on the first Yorktown High School team to make the New York state title game back in 1980.
Then there are Frankie Fusco, a junior attackman at Drexel, and Austin Fusco, a freshman defender at Syracuse. Like their dad, both were also high school All-Americans.
Soon, there will be another Fusco playing in the Division I ranks, but the first playing women’s lacrosse.
Rilea Fusco, a sophomore attack for Yorktown’s girls lacrosse, has verballed to Syracuse, a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The athletic, 5-foot-6 Fusco (pictured at left), who has followed brother Austin’s path to the ‘Cuse, is also a field hockey standout for the Huskers.
In lacrosse, the righty is a feeder/finisher with a high lacrosse IQ who plays with intensity and who is known for her unselfishness.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Rilea on her commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
I loved the facilities, the coaches, and it just felt right
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Rutgers and Albany
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I am a good crease attacker, feeder, and have a strong shot. I play with intensity and always try to create opportunities.
How big a factor is the fact Austin (pictured at left) plays at Syracuse in your decision?
It is definitely going to make it a lot more fun just because we’re so close so I’m excited for that. Frankie might have to move up there as well.
How does playing field hockey help you with your lacrosse skills?
It helps me grasp the aspect of riding my defender on clears because it teaches me how to get in front while continuing to move my feet and turning the girl the other direction.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse?
My family is definitely known for lacrosse due to my dad and two brother’s accomplishments. I’ve been around the sport since a baby. My dad went to Yorktown and was an All-American defender back in 1980. He and his team made it to the state finalists for the first time in Yorktown ever.
I’ve been growing up hearing stories time and time again about Charlie Murphy and all the fun memories my dad had with him and his teammates.
Every time he tells them he always has a smile on his face while putting a smile on ours. My dad coached my brothers growing up in Garrison and I was always there watching playing with a boys stick.
Finally we learned that girls lacrosse was a sport and my mom (Pauline Fusco) brought me to buy a girls stick. I started doing clinics in second grade. These clinics weren’t with girls though; only boys.
Garrison didn’t have any girls lacrosse so we had to figure out something else.
We made the move to Yorktown when I was going into sixth grade and I couldn’t be happier. Both my brothers, Frankie and Austin, graduated with the All-American honors.
But to answer your question, I was basically introduced to lacrosse at a very young age.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for House of Sports but used to play for Bombers. I participated in Showtime and Moonlight last year.
Any final thoughts and people you want to thank for helping you, etc.?
First, I would like to thank my friends because without them I wouldn’t have the constant laughter in my life.
Second, I would like to thank all of my coaches that I’ve ever had.
Also thanks to my House of Sports coaches Jackie Pierce and Steph Hopkins for giving extra advice all the time and always reaching out to schools for me.
Thanks to my trainers at Parisi, Training for Warriors, and Pat Defeo.
I would like to thank my family more than anything for always giving me the support I need and always being there.
To all my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, you’re the bomb, especially my Uncle Kenny.
Frankie (pictured at left) and Austin, you’re the best brothers out there and nothing’s better than the time we spend together.
Dad, I love you so much you big goof. There’s no one that makes me laugh as much as you.
Lastly, my beautiful mother. I can’t thank my mom enough for what she does for me. I thank you for your “have a great day, I love you” texts in the mornings. Mom, even though you didn’t play lacrosse and don’t get recognized as much as you should, you’re the real MVP. I love you and thank you for everything you’ve done to help me through this process.
I know this is long but it’s not long enough because if I could thank everyone who has helped me, this thank you list would go on forever. To anyone I have forgotten in here, thank you.
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