Thursday December 20, 2012 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
Frontier senior Emily Pasternak signs her National Letter of Intent to play lacrosse for and attend Delaware State during a ceremony Tuesday (Dec. 11) at the high school. She’s surrounded by her mother, Karen, and father, Richard, who are seated next to her, and lacrosse coach, Tim Myslinski (far right).Frontier junior Syd Rojek verbally commits to Marist
Emily Pasternak shared the goaltending duties with a senior teammate during her first full season with the Frontier varsity lacrosse team, yet the now senior shined enough last year for one of Western New York’s top program’s to become a must have for a startup Division I program.
When Pasternak was in net, she did what it took to garner attention. Her 4.80 goals against was one of the best statewide and her efforts, along with fellow goalie Taylor Balbierz, helped the Falcons return to defend their sectional title. So, although it was only a small sampling, she sure had a college convinced of her ability.
After viewing her profile and meeting Pasternak during a school visit, Delaware State offered her a full scholarship. She wasn’t looking at the hidden gem of a building program at the start of her search, but was pleasantly surprised by the college’s reaction to what she could offer.
“It was actually pretty easy to make the decision,” said Pasternak, who’s signing was celebrated by Frontier on Tuesday (Dec. 11). “I was getting contacted by some different coaches and I got contacted by Delaware State. I went down there to visit the college and really liked it. I got a call a week later from the coach offering me a full ride to go. It was an easy decision. It was a huge shock.”
Pasternak follows in a long line of quality goaltending with the Frontier girls lacrosse team, including the player she helped take over for, Mia Wagner, who’s now playing for Mercy College downstate.
Not only is she skilled liked some of the past goalies, she’s got the same drive and determination as them to excel. It’s a trait she’s learned from being part of the program for four years, which included stints with the varsity as a freshman and sophomore.
“Her work ethic is so awesome,” Frontier head coach Tim Myslinski said. “We’re seeing this happen with this program. She worked behind Mia and then had a great competition with Taylor last year. She made a big jump last season.”
Helping Pasternak make that leap in her goaltending was playing in the offseason with the Buffalo Wings and Champion Lacrosse. Pasternak said she joined travel teams that her teammates were already playing with and improved her game by seeing a range of competition from the Rochester and Albany areas.
“Those are the things you need to do to become a top goalie,” Myslinski said. “When you’re playing against talent like that all summer long it’s going to make you better.”
Another trait of a classic Frontier goalie has become the leadership Falcons’ netminders have provided their teams. That did not go unnoticed in the process of finding a college suitor.
“They really liked how I played and communicated on the field,” Pasternak said of Delaware State. “Also, they’re a brand new program so they were looking for someone who’s a leader.”
First, she’s looking to lead Frontier back to that Section VI crown after the program fell in a tight Class A final last season. In 2011, Frontier won the program’s first-ever title.
“Hopefully, she continues to be part of that fraternity of great lacrosse at the goalie position,” Myslinski said. “We’ve been blessed before with that kind of goaltending — kids at that position that have no fear.”
Frontier senior Hannah Graesser signs her National Letter of Intent to swim for and attend Canisius College during a ceremony Tuesday (Dec. 11) at the high school. She’s seated beside her mother, Lisa, and father, David (far right), and swimming coach, Jeff Moessinger (far left).
Also being honored for signing a letter of intent was Frontier senior Hannah Greasser, a five-time state-qualifying swimmer, who will compete for and attend Canisius College.
She finished up her final swimming postseason with a second career sectional title in the 50 freestyle and taking seventh in the event at the State Championships.
“States were out-of-town this year (as opposed to at ECC’s Flickinger Center), so it was fun this year getting travel with the Section (VI),” Graesser said. “I didn’t swim as well as I’d like but it was a good experience.”
Graesser finishes as the record-holder in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly, along with being a member of all three record-setting relays. She also swims as a member of the Tonawanda Titans.
“Through all of the swims and meets I’ll carry through what I’ve learned and work just as hard at Canisius,” noted the year-round swimmer.
In other college news from Frontier, junior Syd Rojek has verbally committed to play women’s volleyball at Division I Marist. The three-year starting setter has been a stalwart for three straight teams that advanced to sectional finals. Frontier won it during her freshman year.