Written by Vinny Messana Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00
Competition doesn’t always need to manifest from a rival or adversary. It can sometimes be conjured up from a strong bond that yields big results on the field. Molloys star lacrosse player Samantha Arlotta finds motivation from her friendly rivalry with her brother.
“My brother, Joe, who is three years older, played lacrosse at Pace University,” said Arlotta, of Garden City Park. “We were constantly competing with each other.”
The competition has benefited her as a player and she is now making quite an impact on the East Coast Conference (ECC).
Arlotta has put together a tremendous season. She was recently been named to the ECC Player of the Week honor roll and leads the team with 34 points. She noted that she also loved gymnastics and soccer growing up—and even played all four years while in high school at St. Mary’s—but decided to give it up because lacrosse was her true passion and also because of her brother’s love for the game.
So far, it appears to be the right decision for Arlotta, who is performing at the top of her game and has the Lions primed for a playoff run as they are currently the fourth seed in the ECC.
“It has been one of my best seasons,” she said. “I’ve kind of been an underdog story. Nobody was talking about me in the beginning of the season.”
She put herself on the map with an extraordinary eight game stretch from March 14 to April 18, in which she compiled 30 of her 34 points on the season. She shot 50 percent and played a pivotal role in the team’s 6-2 record during that run. They had high-scoring victories over Wilmington University, Bridgeport and the University of the District of Columbia.
“We just need to focus on playing together and playing solid defense,” she said in regards to the keys to their playoff matchup.
There is no reason to discount Arlotta, who has been able to excel no matter what the circumstances are. More impressive than her statistics on the field is her ability to manage her workload as a nursing student with the rigors of college lacrosse.
“It’s not easy,” she said in terms of the balancing act. “It’s definitely hard work, plus I also work the night shift in the hospital sometimes until 7 a.m.,” she added. She noted that it will be worth it in the end.
In the meantime, Arlotta is looking to take her team on a deep run in the playoffs. She feels that she has come a long way during her collegiate career.
“I’ve worked hard to get to this point,” she said. “The success has finally come.”
In just one year Arlotta has become the catalyst on the team. In her junior year, she was the eighth-leading scorer on the team with 11 points on seven goals. She shot 28 percent last year.
In 2012, she was the tenth-leading scorer with five points on 33 percent shooting. The dramatic improvement is a testament to her maturation as a player and her work ethic that led to the improvement.
It also came at a great time for the program. The past two seasons they had a potent offense that averaged more than 11 points per game. The 2012 squad featured a 60-point season by Kaitlynn Kelly. As is always the case, players move on and graduate, and the team looks for its next crop of stars.
They will be taking on CW Post on May 1 in the first-round of the playoffs.