The La Salle women's lacrosse roster has a lot of familiar names on it.
The Philadelphia-area university is quickly becoming one of the top destinations for girls' lacrosse standouts from the York-Adams League.
With 2011 Co-Players of the Year Katie Fonte (Kennard-Dale) and Katie Wherley (South Western) already enrolled in the school as freshman, another pair of local standouts are set to join to the York County contingent next season at the NCAA Division I program -- West York's Allee Ilgenfritz and Kennard-Dale's Nicole Black.
Black, the 2012 Player of the Year, still has a lot of goals left on to accomplish this spring for the Rams. Breaking the all-time scoring record for the program and finding a way to advance K-D into the PIAA state tournament sit atop of her to-do list.
Still, the thought of playing at the NCAA's highest level is an exciting thought for Black, who has tallied a whopping 153 goals to go along with 203 assists during her three-year stint with the Rams.
We caught up with Black recently to discuss her decision and her future for this week's edition of Sports Q&A:
When did you decide to commit to La Salle?
"During my club season they recruited me during one of my last tournaments. I went there and visited and really liked the campus and the coaching staff, as well as the way they deal with things and their coaching methods. I really, really enjoyed it. There's also a girl that goes there now that I played with last year, Katie Fonte. Just hearing from her and how much she liked it there that helped me make my decision."
What other schools were your consid ering?
"That was really the only Division I school that showed any interest in me. Other than that I was contacting other Division II schools."
Was there anything that the coaching staff at La Salle recom mended that you im prove upon during your final season at K- D this spring?
"They didn't really tell me anything like that. They just told me a lot of things that they liked about me. But for my own personal goals I really want to work on my speed and agility, because it's so much different at the Division I level. And, of course, stick skills and other stuff like that."
What did Katie tell you about what it was like playing at La Salle?
"She said that the competition is much, much more intense. She said there's a lot of work that you have to put into it in the offseason. It's not just stick skills and outside work ... it's getting in the weight-room all the time, running, and all of that. But I'm willing to take the challenge."
It sounds like there might be a pretty strong York-area con tingent at La Salle the next few seasons, right?
"Yeah. Three girls that played on my club team, the York Invaders, will actually be at La Salle. Allee Ilgenfritz, she's from West York and she'll be going there next year, Katie Wherley, who played at South Western last year, and then me. And then there's Katie Fonte, too. So, yeah, they're definitely recruiting a lot of players from this area."
What are your per sonal goals for your senior season?
"Well my personal goal is that I want to set the school record for points -- which is assists and goals. Right now I have 153 goals and 203 assists (356 points). (The record holder) is either Lauren Laubach or Hannah Krechel. Our team goal is ... well, we can't really seem to make it past the second round of districts, so definitely making it further than that and improving as a team, in general."
A lot of the lacrosse girls play the sport year-round, but you ac tually play on the girls' basketball team in stead. What does play ing basketball do for you that you might not get if you just focused on playing lacrosse year-round?
"Well, actually I start playing indoor lacrosse this Sunday (Dec. 2) so I'm still playing lacrosse, too. But what's new this year is that our athletic director is working out with us in the weight room. We're focusing on strength and conditioning which should really help me out for the lacrosse season. Tonight we really had a tough workout ... it was crazy, but it's all about making me stronger and faster, which is all good."
Can you tell me what your outlook is for the basketball team this upcoming season?
"We set goals every season and our main goal is to make it to states. Defensively we'd like to keep teams under 35 points a game. And improving. Last year, defensively we were allowing like 40 points, so we're focused on just lowering it. As a team we only lost one girl (to graduation) so we basically have the same team back."
As the point-guard for the team, I guess your main goal is to try to get the ball to Sara (Tarbert), right?
"(Laughs). That's pretty much what we do. But we're really trying to work everybody in scoring-wise, but Sara just dominates the whole court."
Here's what La Salle women's lacrosse head coach Candace Taglia netti Bossell said of Black on the La Salle University Athletics website recently:
"Nicole is a well-rounded attacker that is a statistical leader in goals, assists and ground balls. She will not have to look far to develop chemistry as she joins her former favorite target in high school teammate Katie Fonte, and her club teammate Allee Ilgenfritz. Nicole is smart and composed and those qualities will lead to success in the collegiate ranks."
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.