West Islip's Galasso transferring from UNC

Nicky Galasso was the nation's No. 1-ranked high

Nicky Galasso was the nation's No. 1-ranked high school lacrosse player when he left West Islip in 2010. (Credit: Joe Rogate, 2010)

Nicky Galasso, the greatest scorer in Long Island boys lacrosse history and the nation's No. 1-ranked high school player when he left West Islip for the University of North Carolina in 2010, will play the recruiting game once again.

Galasso, who scored 500 points and won four state Class A championships in five years for the Lions, was officially granted his release from the Tar Heels on Tuesday and announced he will transfer at the end of the fall semester. The junior attack will have two years of college eligibility remaining as long as he doesn't transfer to another ACC school -- Duke, Virginia or Maryland -- or another school on the UNC schedule for 2013. "I'm not looking at those schools," Galasso said Thursday in a phone interview from the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. "I don't know what my decision will be; I'll keep it open right now."

Galasso made a huge impact on the Tar Heels as a freshman, leading the team in scoring with 56 points and setting a freshman record with 32 assists. He broke his foot in November of 2011 and though he returned to the team in February, 2012, he was never at full strength. He had gained weight, lost quickness and lost his starting job. Galasso had only six goals and three assists in 13 games as a sophomore, playing strictly as an extra-man specialist. He's looking for an expanded role at a major lacrosse power.

"Coaches have already been calling me or contacting my Dad. It's like it was when I was being recruited in high school. It's nerve-wracking," Galasso said. "But it makes me feel like I'm still important and I still have the ability to make an impact on a program. That's what I want."

He declined to name schools that have reached out. But Syracuse, which appears to be a good fit because it plays an up-tempo style that suits Galasso's playmaking abilities and is closer to home for his father and four brothers who live in West Islip, confirmed to Newsday that it has contacted Galasso. Hofstra also fits those criteria, but Galasso said, "I want to get the full college experience and be closer to home, but that's a little too close."

Galasso said he is recovered from his injury, has dropped 30 pounds to 188, and is excited about the opportunity to "go to another prestigious school, do the big things I wasn't doing here anymore, and hopefully get back on everybody's radar."

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