Angelina Porcello remembers what it's like to try to put herself on the recruiting map.
The Team 91 Tristate 2020 and Eastchester midfielder thinks back to the time where she would email coaches, and how she attended 15 prospect days last summer in an effort to weed out the schools that she was interested in.
It's never an easy process, particularly for such young players who aren't 100 percent sure as to what they're looking for. When Porcello started whittling her list down, though, things started to become clearer for her.
"I didn't want to go to a big school because I don't think a big environment would be good for me," Porcello said. "I don't want to be just a number, and I want to do well. I didn't want to go Division I, so it was Division II or III for me. I was looking at multiple schools, but Pace just stuck out to me. I loved their program, the coach was so nice and it was only 30 minutes away."
That made the decision a little bit easier, and it's how Porcello became the second girls' commit in 91 Tristate history after teammate Zara Wiestcommitted to RPI.
"My parents also told me that they thought Pace was the best place for me. I wanted something farther at first, but it's for my parents to come see my games, and it's a beautiful campus with a great education program," Porcello said. "I probabkly want to go into elementary education."
Porcello is on pace to be a rare five-year varsity contributor at Eastchester, and playing varsity as an eighth grade paid huge dividends for her. She'd already played up with another club for a few years, though, so the jump didn't rattle her as much as it would for others. The mindset of testing yourself in a different environment carried over to when she joined 91 Tristate, an up-and-coming club that was still seeking to make a name for itself. Now, the 2020 team is starting to put together an impressive run of commitments, one that will undoubtedly continue for the next two years and help shape the foundation of the club.
"It looked like a really good program and I wanted to do something different," Porcello said of joining 91 Tristate. "it was cool to try something new, and the coaches and teammates are so welcoming. We don't have a ball hog or a star, and everyone's very good. The coaches pushed me a lot and helped me become better at every practice. They tell you what to do to get better without getting frustrated."
A high-energy midfielder with a penchant for bringing out the best in her teammates, Porcello is gearing up for her fourth varsity season, one where she's expected to be a leader for Eastchester.
"I remember coach Gail Lozado telling me not to be scared and to be very confident with the ball when I was in eighth grade," Porcello said. "Now, I have to be a leader on the team."
Especially now that she's committed.
"We're so pumped up for Angelina that she was able to find a great school at the Division II level so close to home," 91 Tristate director Mike Bocklet said. "She took a chance on our club, and we're very grateful for that, so it's particularly rewarding to see her hard work pay off. We can't wait to watch her do great things at Pace."