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Male Student-Athlete: Great Valley’s Moccia puts academics first; playing goalie second

Saturday, 29th March 2008

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, posted 3/29/08

Great Valley senior Rob Moccia relishes the thrill of being a goalie.

“The goalie has a lot of responsibility,” he said. “I like being able to lead my team.”

Moccia has had plenty of practice in his favorite leadership role. He was a hockey goalie for many years as a youth player and was a three-year starter for the Great Valley soccer team.

But it’s been in lacrosse where Moccia has made his name. He earned All-State honors last year while leading the Patriots to their first state playoff win ever and is regarded as one of the top goalies on the East Coast.

But the diminutive Moccia is not attending a big-name university; instead he chose tiny Connecticut College, a Division III school in New London.

“Academically, it’s better than the other schools I was looking at for lacrosse,” said Moccia, the Laxzilla/ Male Student-Athlete of the Week. “Academics always come first and I might look at med school.”

Moccia, who has a GPA of over 3.5 and is a member of the National Honor Society, claims that playing sports helps him perform better in the classroom.

“When I am playing a sport I do better,” he said. “When I have too much time on my hands, I get lazy and I relax and feel I can do my work later.”

Great Valley coach Tony Verna said Moccia’s top attributes are his speed, fearless attitude and strength. But most of all, Moccia is smart and coachable, Verna said.

“If there’s another goalie that’s better than him in the state I want to see him,” Verna said. “They (Connecticut College) are getting an absolute steal in him. He clears the ball well, he gobbles up everything and he is fearless.

“He always know the right thing to do, he never makes a mistake. He is a joy to coach. Every teacher absolutely adores him. If I have kids like him, I’d be the happiest father ever.
“He is the type of kid that comes around once in a coaching career.”

Moccia said his goal is to lead his team – currently 2-1 – back to the state playoffs.
“We definitely want to get to states, but we have to keep progressing throughout the season,” he said.

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