By ELENA GRANDE
For Your Niskayuna
NISKAYUNA — Marisa DiVietro, a 16-year-old junior at Niskayuna High School, is living proof that hard work pays off.
Her love, commitment and dedication to the sport of lacrosse has earned her a Division I athletic scholarship to play at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
DiVietro said lacrosse is a huge part of her life and she’d be lost without it.
“I love the competitive nature of the sport,” she said. “It pushes you to the limit and gives you challenges to overcome.”
DiVietro lives on Rosehill Boulevard with her parents and her older brother, Matt, a sophomore at Syracuse University. She was introduced to lacrosse when she did a startup program for the sport in first grade. She fell in love immediately.
As she got older, her parents enrolled her in club team summer programs. She started school lacrosse in seventh grade and has played ever since.
When DiVietro is not playing for Niskayuna, she keeps her skills fresh playing for the ADK lacrosse club during the fall, spring and winter months.
It’s not the only sport she enjoys. She began playing ice hockey at the age of 4, competing with boys until she was 12, when she made the switch to a girls hockey team.
She also runs for the school cross country team.
DiVietro credits hockey with developing her feisty playing style, which shows through in all sports.
On the lacrosse field, she describes herself as a scrappy and aggressive midfielder, always looking to get ground balls and make the transition up the field and to the offensive line.
“I like to do the dirty work,” she said. “I work to get the ball to the offense so that they can score.”
Jason Bach, the Niskayuna High School girls’ varsity lacrosse coach, said she is a talented multisport athlete.
“DiVietro plays with the endurance of a distance runner and the speed and vision of a hockey player,” he said. “She uses her experiences from different sports to succeed in lacrosse.”
He considers her a player who works hard in practice and consistently commits herself to improving her game.
DiVietro said some of her greatest influences were her ADK coaches, Greg Giombetti and Nick Petraccione.
“They helped me broaden my skill set,” she said. “They pretty much taught me everything I know about lacrosse.”
She also credits a fellow teammate, Asa Goldstock, for helping her stay calm when lacrosse becomes stressful, or when certain goals seem unattainable. Goldstock, a goalie committed to play Division I lacrosse at Syracuse, has been a great source of support for her.
As for the recruiting process, DiVietro had her fair share of college teams to choose from. She narrowed her schools down to the University of Michigan, Harvard and UNC. It was UNC that ultimately won her over.
“I can’t say one negative thing about it,” she said. “I love the atmosphere of the lacrosse team and the campus.”
She says an important factor in her choice of UNC was the coaching staff and how passionate they seemed about the sport of lacrosse as well as the players. When she went on an official visit, it was clear that the coaches were people she could look up to.
“I knew that once I started my career there, they would help me both on and off the field,” she said.
Playing any sport at the Division I level means tackling obstacles and dedicating many hours to practice and competition. DiVietro welcomes the challenges that come with playing lacrosse at UNC and already has ambitious goals in mind. Her ultimate goal is to win a national championship.
“I’m really competitive,” She said. “I dream of getting that title.”
Academically, DiVietro hopes to pursue her love of math and sciences at UNC by majoring in either marine biology or biomedical engineering.
“A personal goal of mine is to excel both in the classroom and on the field,” she said. “I’m excited for what the future will bring.”