Veteran Lorusso leads youthful lacrosse team


Buffalo State Sports Information

Senior attacker Sarah Lorusso, a former two-sport athlete at Hilbert College, leads the SUNYAC in turnovers caused per game (2.25) and is third ground balls per game (2.83)

Louie DiBiase, Reporter

Growing up in Western New York, Sarah Lorusso was raised in an environment full of passion for sports. Football, hockey, baseball; Western New York is all about its sports.

Lorusso grew up in a family of athletes. Her father played football, her brother plays hockey, and Sarah is the lacrosse player of the family.

Although she now excels as a college lacrosse player for Buffalo State, Lorusso hasn’t always been passionate about lacrosse. In fact, basketball was her first love, and it was her favorite sport throughout her entire childhood.

“I was big on basketball and didn’t start playing lacrosse until I was a sophomore in high school,” said Lorusso, a Frontier High School graduate. “I never really took it seriously until I came over to Buffalo State to play.”

Lorusso transferred to Buffalo State after two years at Hilbert College in nearby Hamburg, NY She played for the Hilbert Hawks basketball team both years, including her sophomore year when the Hawks made the jump from club to D-III.

She averaged 7.4 points per game, 4.5 rebounds and 27.7 minutes on the floor per game during Hilbert’s first year in the AMCC (Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference).

Lorusso was a two-sport athlete her sophomore year at Hilbert, appearing in 10 games for the Hawks women’s lacrosse team her sophomore season. She scored 27 goals and registered seven assists for 34 points. Her 27 goals were 18 more than any other Hilbert player.

After her basketball season was over, Lorusso decided it was time to pursue her lacrosse career elsewhere. After contacting Buffalo State about joining the Bengals’ women’s lacrosse team, she made the decision to transfer.

“I was in contact with the lacrosse coach (former head coach Meg Stevens) and just figured it was time to pursue something besides basketball.”

The transition wasn’t easy at first for Lorusso. It took her time to adjust to the level of play and to gain chemistry with her new teammates.

“Transferring in as a junior was difficult because I came in not really knowing what to expect out of our team, and just how things worked around here,” Lorusso said. “Luckily, everything worked out really well for me.”

Throughout her three seasons at Buffalo State, Sarah Lorusso’s game has steadily improved, and she’s become one of the most complete players on the field for the Bengals.

Lorusso took a huge step forward between her first and second year at Buffalo State, improving her 2014 goal total from 14 to 42 in 2015. She’s on pace to score over 40 goals once again this year as she currently has 27 in just 11 games.

Her contributions go beyond just her point total though. Lorusso has always been an offensive threat; it’s been her improvement in other aspects of the game that has made her so successful in thus far in her senior campaign.

Lorusso leads the entire SUNYAC conference in ground balls per game and leads the Bengals in forced turnovers per game, which are both huge deciding factors in any contest.

At Hilbert, she had only 15 forced turnovers in 10 games. In 11 games this year for Buffalo State, she already has 25.

In the SUNYAC leaderboard for individual stats, Lorusso has broken the top ten in every category for both offensive and miscellaneous statistics.

Sarah points to her coaches as the biggest reason for her success this season.

“I think all throughout my career I have had really good coaches that have helped me develop my game,” Lorusso said. “My current coaches at Buffalo State have really pushed me to do my best and work hard to get better, which has been my biggest driving factor.”

Head coach Lindsay Abbott had many great things to say about Lorusso and praised her for how far she has come along these past few seasons.

“At first, I knew there was something special about Sarah and she didn’t even know it yet,” Abbott said. “She transformed herself from one lazy attacker to a hard working midfielder. Her teammates look up to her and she can change the pace of any game for us.”

Her ability to adjust and improve her game over the years all while becoming a leader on the team earned Lorusso the title of captain this season.

Being captain has changed the way Lorusso approaches her game; she’s worked steadfastly to become a more responsible player.

“I feel a lot more responsible because my teammates are relying on me and are looking up to me,” she said.

Lorusso’s experience is all-important to a young Bengals team, and she’s taken her role as a trustworthy veteran very seriously.

Buffalo State currently has three freshmen and nine sophomores on the roster. A third-year senior, Lorusso has the most experience of any player on the roster.

Putting her entire athletic career in perspective, it’s been quite the transition and transformation for Sarah Lorusso. Buffalo State’s women’s lacrosse team is enjoying the benefits of her hard work and maturation as a well-rounded athlete.

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