Capping off her illustrious high school career as East Islip’s girls soccer phenomenon, senior Cari Roccaro recently received a trophy and banner commemorating her being named the 2011-2012 Gatorade New York Girls Soccer Player of the Year. She is the first player from East Islip High School to be so honored.
Presented by the Gatorade Company in collaboration with ESPNHS, this award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence along with high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Roccaro amply demonstrated all of these qualities during last fall’s season, where the 5-foot-7 forward/midfielder led the Lady Redmen to an 11-3-1 record. She was named a First Team ESPNHS All-American, two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American, and Long Island Player of the Year, was a member of the school’s National Honor Society and volunteered for a local soccer program for autistic children.
While many students relax over the summer, Roccaro has little chance of slowing down, with a schedule as busy as it is prestigious. On June 10, she left for a 10-day trip to Japan, preparing for her participation in the soccer World Cup. The day after she returns, Roccaro starts 10 days of preseason training at Notre Dame University, where she will play on full scholarship starting this September. Then it’s back to Japan on August 9 or 10 to play in the World Cup. Depending on how the U.S. team performs, Roccaro might miss the first two weeks of the fall season at Notre Dame. “Playing in the World Cup is exciting, but I’m a little nervous,” she said. “I’ll need help from my tutors and teammates.” Her current principal, East Islip High’s William Brennen, has no doubt she can handle the pressure, citing her ability to keep up scholastically despite her extracurricular sports schedule. “She missed so many periods of high school, yet maintained a high GPA while being a world-class athlete,” Brennen remarked.