By John Torsiello
School: Granby Memorial High School.
Ali is a senior, has played four years of Varsity/JV field hockey, and in the spring will be playing her fourth year of Varsity/JV lacrosse. She also played varsity basketball her freshman year, but discontinued playing to focus on her schoolwork, as well as pursue her passion for field hockey and lacrosse. Academically, she has maintained high honors every quarter of her high school career. She is also an AP Scholar and a member of National Honor’s Society. She says, “I have worked incredibly hard to balance academics and athletics in high school, but I also think that athletics often makes you a better, more efficient student. When participating in sports, time management and organization is often easier, because you are more aware that it is critical to success.”
Sports Played And Positions: In both field hockey and lacrosse Ali plays defense. This season in field hockey, she has also been playing the center midfield position, which gives her a chance to be involved in both attacking and defending.
Athletic Accomplishments: Captain of the field hockey program this season and starting varsity in lacrosse and field hockey for several seasons. She was a member of the school’s Class S state championship team in 2011, and went to the Class S state finals twice and semifinals once in lacrosse.
How You Prepare Before A Game: “I listen to music with my team. I have found that I am better prepared to play when I help my teammates get psyched for the game. Some of our favorite songs are Sail by Awolnation, Stronger by Kanye West, Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus, and pretty much any Beyonce song!
Most Memorable Moment In Your High School Career: “The most memorable moment in my high school career was when we beat Thomaston in field hockey in the first round of the state tournament last season. We all played so hard, we were the definite underdogs but ended up winning. After the tough game we went back to the high school gym and had our JV coach/yoga teacher lead us in stretching while we drank chocolate milk to recover. It was just a great team moment and day. I have been incredibly blessed to have wonderful, inspiring, and devoted coaches during my high school career. All have taught me essential life lessons as well as coaching me in a respective sport.”
What Are You Most Excited About This Season: “I am most excited about the team chemistry we have. The talent level and knowledge of the game is impressive in each girl on our team, but I think the most exciting part is how much we all love the game and each other. We have a great bond with one another and with the coaches, and it’s really exciting to see. I’m also really in love with the new turf fields that we have this season. It has really elevated our play and allowed us to master skills that we were unable to use on grass. I think it will serve us well in the state tournament this season.
Favorite Pro Or College Athlete: My favorite athlete is Diana Taurasi. I grew up worshiping basketball, and although my passion has certainly changed more towards field hockey and lacrosse, the leadership that Taurasi has and instilled when she played basketball at UConn can be applied to any sport. Her infectious spirit and will to win (our motto this season for field hockey) was certainly admirable.”
College Plans: “I am currently searching for the right fit academically for college. Certainly, athletics will be a part of my life while I’m in college, but right now I’m focusing on a scholastically challenging school before I consider my athletic possibilities.”