By Bridget Letukas
Philllylacrosse.com, Posted 5/17/10
Senior Yale defender Michele Fiorentino has always understood the importance of family. In fact, the pre-med student credits her parents for her successes both on and off the field.
“My parents always encouraged me,” said Fiorentino, the United Sports Collegiate Scholar-Athlete of the Week. “My dad just kept pushing me just to give lacrosse a try. He wouldn’t give up.”
That familial persistence paid off for Fiorentino, who was recently named Second-Team All-Ivy Leaguer and Yale’s Team MVP as winner of the Bowditch Award.
In late April, however, Fiorentino and her Bluedog teammates hoped for a better ending to a match-up against Cornell that would have given them a bid to conference playoffs.
Still, Fiorentino, is pleased at the progress her team made throughout the season. In addition, the Biology major, whose plans include research followed by medical school, noted that this year’s Bulldog squad was more than just a collection of athletes.
“Our team is the most close-knit team we’ve had,” she said. “Everyone worked hard. We’re more like a family.”
One member of the Bluedog “family” this season was a young cancer patient named Alanna, who the team adopted as part of their work with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. The organization which began a few year ago at Northwestern now has two hundred teams participating in program. (http://friendsofjaclyn.org/)
According to Fiorentino, Alanna would come to all the games, and the team would visit her while experiencing her chemotherapy treatments.
“She is now part of our team,” says Fioerentino of Alanna. “She is the most upbeat girl. She’s amazing. We love having her on the sideline.”