Aspen High lacrosse standout signs with DII Findlay | AspenTimes.com

Aspen High lacrosse standout signs with DII Findlay

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Published: Stewart Oksenhorn The Aspen Times

ASPEN – Olivia Porcaro has been one of the cornerstones of Aspen High’s fledgling lacrosse program, helping the Skiers double their win total and finish 10-3 during the 2011 season – just their second as a varsity program.

The senior is hoping to do the same at the college level. Porcaro on Tuesday morning signed a national letter of intent to play lacrosse at the University of Findlay in Ohio. She will be a member of the inaugural recruiting class for the Oilers, who are moving from the club ranks to Division II next season.

“It’s really exciting, and also a relief to have the whole college thing done with,” the Snowmass Village resident said Wednesday. “All my friends are stressing out, and I’m like, ‘You know what? I’m done.'”

Added Aspen head coach Meredith Sauder: “I couldn’t be prouder to have one of our players get the opportunity to pursue their lacrosse career at the college level. She deserves every bit of it. … This is what commitment and work ethic can do for you.”

The 17-year-old’s decision, one that took a circuitous route, is a few years in the making. Porcaro remembers being interested in Ohio Wesleyan University after learning about the school at a college fair during her freshman year. She sent the lacrosse coach, then Julia Duffy, a highlight film last year, but later determined that the school didn’t offer her desired area of study.

Duffy, who in June accepted the head coaching position at Findlay, apparently kept the tape. She contacted Porcaro in August, then invited the standout to Ohio in early October to spend a few days touring campus and practicing with the team.

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“I got a good feel for the school, and I liked it right away,” said Porcaro, who also had been considering colleges on the East Coast in addition to liberal arts school Tennessee Wesleyan College. “It was a nice change of scenery for sure. … The girls on the team were really nice and outgoing, and also the fact that they were a new program really drew me to it. It seemed like a good fit.”

Duffy thought so, too; she offered Porcaro a scholarship during the visit.

“I don’t know, right when it happened it felt like it should be happening. Later, as I was walking back to the dorm with the girl I was staying with, I remember thinking, ‘I was just made an offer by a Division II coach,'” Porcaro recalled. “It was incredible really.”

Porcaro spent a few days at Tennessee Wesleyan last week, but her choice was clear.

Sauder thinks Findlay is getting a player who is capable of making an instant impact.

“They’re getting a balanced, committed, determined, very hungry lacrosse player – that’s all you can ask for as a coach,” Sauder added. “She’s very coachable, is a great natural leader and is loved by all of her teammates. Really, she’s just a great kid on and off the field.

“We’ll certainly miss her, but we’re very glad we have her for one more season.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com