Thursday June 21, 2012 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
Although she was often doubled by opponents, Syracuse-bound Vivian Curry put up 139 goals in two years with Lake Shore. (Photo courtesy of David Eckhardt)
Vivian Curry’s pursuit of playing lacrosse at the college level was as relentless as her typical drive to the net to finish a goal.
The leading goal scorer the past two seasons for Lake Shore’s run-and-gun offense, Curry didn’t just allow her play to do the talking, she was also quite pro-active in her approach to seeking out assistance in becoming even more appealing to potential college suitors.
If that meant training early in the morning before school, after practice or on weekends, it is exactly what she would do. It also meant making contacts with colleges, gathering references from area coaches and playing in elite clubs, clinics and tournaments in some of the biggest venues for a student-athlete her age.
Curry’s enormous efforts have gained her an opportunity to try out for the Syracuse University women's lacrosse team this fall with the 2013 roster not being finalized until January, according to a school official. She made her decision to pursue the Division I lacrosse power before the spring 2012 season and is now preparing to play at the next level after Lake Shore’s girls lacrosse season ended last month in a sectional final overtime loss to Amherst.
“My high school lacrosse experience has been fun but I also felt a lot of pressure to be the one to better myself,” said Curry, who scored 58 goals this season after putting up 81 last year. “I’ve gotten to play in a bunch of tournaments and am always doing extra training to make sure to stay in tip-top shape. I had to make sure that my voice was heard.”
Curry also considered Duke, another premier Division I program. She had attended a camp for Duke and knew a number of its players from playing last year in the U.S. Lacrosse World Games, but when it came time to decide, she liked the convenience of only being a few hours from home. Curry, who lives on the Seneca Cattaraugus Reservation, was also impressed with the Syracuse coaching staff.
“(Syracuse) is a great program and my parents and people from my community can now come watch me play,” Curry said. “I couldn’t pass it up. I met with the coaches and fell completely in love. They’re so full of knowledge. It’s great to meet someone who could teach me things that I don’t know.”
Hannah Wawrowski, who just completed her second season coaching Lake Shore’s varsity girls lacrosse team, was impressed with Curry’s pursuit to always get better.
“Vivian always goes 100 percent, whether it’s in practice or competition,” Wawrowski said. “She has also taken the initiative to participate in tournaments and clinics to improve aspects of her game. When she discovers a point of weakness, she concentrates on improving it until she has mastered it.”
Along with becoming a prolific goal scorer for a program that last season won its first Section VI title, Curry learned face-off techniques over the summer that helped the team in 2012 and ran most of the Eagles’ set plays. Ironically, she took some helpful points about how to win draws from the Duke camp, which she flew to Florida to attend.
She has been a lacrosse sponge, effectively taking what she’s learned at each and every stop to become a better player. She benefited greatly from the coaching while playing on the Western New York-Rochester team last May in the Senior Division at the National Lacrosse Tournament in Stoney Brook. She also said she learned a great deal from Nichols lacrosse coach Beth Stone while attending the private school as a freshman.
Curry also trained for a while at Sahlen’s Sports Park in West Seneca and then had a personal trainer coming down to the reservation to help her get in better shape.
The result was noticeable on the field where in her first season with Lake Shore in 2011, she was selected to the All-Western New York First Team and led the Eagles to a Class B title. She combined with her cousin, Lauren Scanlan, a five-year varsity standout, to score a remarkable 160 goals. Playing besides family and accomplishing what they did made it a special season for Curry.
“It was awesome playing with Lauren and with winning the title, my junior year was amazing,” said Curry, who was named to the All-WNY Second Team this year. “I wish we could have pulled it off again this year but I think everything happens for a reason.”
Curry is not only excited for the opportunity ahead but she’s also somewhat surprised that it’s so close to being a reality. Even though she’s worked so hard for it, Curry’s still somewhat amazed that everything has fallen into place so well.
“I know my summer is going to be full of long training,” Curry sad. “I just want it to be over with so that I can get to Syracuse to start training with the girls and meet everyone. The college level is going to be so different.”
Anyone who’s watched her play probably isn’t the least bit surprised about Curry’s feats.
“Vivian has an abundance of potential,” Wawrowski said. “I look forward to seeing her ultimately reach that potential at the collegiate level.”