Roccaro Signs with Notre Dame, Wins Gatorade Award

With her parents Tom and Mary Roccaro by her side, East Islip High School’s Caro Roccaro joined East Islip Athletic Director Stephen Restivo and coach Julie Susskind on Feb. 1 to mark another momentous occasion for the soccer phenom. Roccaro signed a national letter of intent to play for Notre Dame University on a full scholarship.

It was a long process for the star senior, who also considered Duke, Wake Forest and Penn State, among others. The academic and sports history of Notre Dame proved most appealing, however. “The Notre Dame campus had a great feeling,” she said. “The athletic program of course was important, but so were the academics and the unity of the school. It was a perfect fit.” Her family and Albertson Fury club coach provided input, but Roccaro noted that the ultimate decision was hers alone. Roccaro’s goal at Notre Dame? “To create a name for myself,” she answered.

“I am very excited and proud for her,” said Susskind, Roccaro’s soccer coach this year. “She deserves it and Notre Dame really is a perfect fit. I can’t wait to see how successful she is there.”

Roccaro’s cavalcade of honors did not stop there. On Feb. 8, Roccaro learned that she had been named the 2011-2012 Gatorade New York Girls Soccer Player of the Year, the first from East Islip High School to be so honored. Presented by the Gatorade Company in collaboration with ESPNHS, the award recognized outstanding athletic excellence as well as high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, all of which Roccaro has demonstrated to a superlative degree. The 5-foot-7 forward/midfielder led the Lady Redmen to an 11-3-1 record this past fall, notching 11 goals and 4 assists. She was a First Team ESPNHS All-American, a two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American, and was named Long Island Player of the Year. On the academic side, she maintained an A average and achieved National Honor Society membership, and her character was revealed when she volunteered for a local soccer program for children diagnosed with autism.

Roccaro will be a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year, to be announced in May. In the meantime, she is playing soccer in the Four Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain, competing as a member of the U.S. Soccer Federation Under-20 Women’s National Team.