Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Conversation with Emily Laurenzi

Emily Laurenzi, the first-ever commit for the varsity women's program, certainly knows a thing or two about coming full circle. She began playing hockey on the University of Delaware's ice while Josh Brandwene was coaching that school's ACHA program. Now, having signed her National Letter of Intent last week, she'll take the next step in her career under Brandwene's tutelage following her senior year at the National Sports Academy (NSA) in Lake Placid, NY.

This week, she spent some of her roughly 100 minutes of free time per day to talk to TYT about her decision to attend Penn State, her hockey career to this point, and the brand of hockey she likes to play.

Thank You Terry: All I know about you really is that you're from Delaware and that you're at NSA now. So tell me a little about your hockey background between those two places.

Emily Laurenzi: Ironically, I guess, I started out at the University of Delaware, which is where Coach Brandwene was. I was in girls hockey after that for the Philadelphia Little Flyers, played there for two years, went to Team Comcast, played there for a year, then went to the Quakers, played there for a year, then came to NSA as a freshman.

TYT: When I first wrote about you, I think I said that NSA is like "a prep school for people who are really good at sports." Does that sound about right?

EL: Yeah <laughs>.

TYT: What's it like up there? I've never been up to Lake Placid or anything like that.

EL: It's freezing. In the winter it snows like all day, for every day, throughout the whole winter. So kind of brutal. But the Olympics were there, so it's nice.

TYT: How did you end up deciding to go to Penn State?

EL: My coach heard about their new program, and was really pushing it. And I didn't want to go, because I've always wanted to go to a small school, and Penn State's huge. So I kept telling him no, but my parents made me visit, and I really liked the coach and the campus. He saw me play at [the Beantown Women's Classic over the summer], and after the tournament called me and asked to come to my house, and that's where it all happened pretty much.

Ironically, Laurenzi had more doubts about signing with Penn State before last week.

TYT: What other schools were you looking at then - you mentioned you like smaller schools.

EL: I was looking at Brown, Niagara, Dartmouth a little bit, and that was pretty much it.

TYT: I hate to have to ask this question, but did you hesitate at all after the recent events at Penn State?

EL: No, not really. It didn't really affect me at all. I heard a lot about it, but people that asked me stuff, I didn't really know the answers, so I just didn't listen to what other people were saying about it.

TYT: Talk about yourself as a player a little bit. What kind of style do you like to play?

EL: I'm more of a two-way player. You've seen my stats - I don't really score too many goals, I'm more of a playmaker, I think. I just work hard pretty much.

TYT: How do you feel like your season's gone so far, both as a team and individually?

EL: I think we started out pretty slow, but we're gradually getting things together. We have a pretty skilled team, but we're short on players right now - we only had nine players over the weekend, so that was rough. Individually, I think I'm doing pretty well because in the past, players who have been committed to college coming into their senior year have kind of fallen off, but I think I'm kind of sticking with it.

Laurenzi considers herself an effort player, with abilities on both ends of the ice.

TYT: So what kind of goals do you have the rest of the way - I assume getting back to nationals is a part of that?

EL: Sweeping a JWHL weekend is always one of our goals, winning state, and placing about top five in JWHL.

TYT: Tell me something about yourself that's kind of crazy, something that I wouldn't think to ask.

EL: My mom told me that when I was little they bought me a pair of skates with a double runner on them. I skated on them once and decided that I didn't want the baby skates, I wanted the ones with a single blade on them. So they rented a pair of figure skates and I said no I want the hockey skates like [my brother] Nick.

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