Lauren DiPierri is finishing her final season stronger than ever.
DiPierri, a midfielder for the Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK girls soccer team, has been a varsity starter since her freshman year and has been the captain of the team for the last two seasons.
“It’s bittersweet that it’s my last year, but we all want to make it a very memorable season, and we’re doing that,” she said.
POB JFK is currently 7-1-2, a success the Hawks haven’t seen in the last few seasons. Coach Jodi Horowitz says that this year everything has finally “clicked” for the team.
“After so many years of working together, I think they all finally understand our goals, and our style of play,” she said.
Strengthening the team’s connection and not becoming complacent is what DiPierri says has changed their game.
“We got together a lot over the summer and were able to become united under the common goal which is to be conference champions this year. As we’re finding that success this season, we’re not resting on it; we’re continuing to push game in and game out and give it our best effort every day,” she said.
Bringing in new underclassmen to help out the team defensively has allowed DiPierri to focus on what she does best — score.
“This has given me the freedom to move out of the midfield and onto the wing to purely attack the goal the whole game,” DiPierri said.
DiPierri has scored 11 goals so far in her senior season — two of which were scored in their game against Long Beach on Wednesday — making her the leading scorer in Nassau II. She scored just two goals last season.
What changed? DiPierri's mentality shifted to becoming an impact player.
“Whenever I get the ball, I want to do something dangerous to make the other team not want to defend me. I’m either going to score, or I’m going to do something to help my team score,” she said.
Horowitz says that the trait she admires most about DiPierri is her selflessness and her humility.
“She’s one of the most humble and kindest people I’ve ever met. All she wants to do is make things happen on the field whether she’s the one scoring the goal, assisting the goal, or even if she’s the second or third pass from the assist,” she said.
Even after accomplishing a goal she’s had since her freshman season, her team is what matters most to her.
“While the 11 goals is a really nice accolade to have, it’s not just about me, it’s about this whole team, and they mean so much to me,” DiPierri said.
In September 2022, she committed to play Division I at Cornell University, a team she says she’s honored to one day be able to contribute to.
“Even though I was speaking to many schools during the recruiting process, the second I stepped on Cornell’s campus I knew I found my home,” DiPierri said. “I can’t wait to see the impact I’m able to make in the Ivy League when I get there.”