It’s comeback season for Northport’s Alexa Gentile. The highly coveted senior attacker who verbally committed to UNC four years ago is back after missing the 2019 season with a torn ACL. The Tigers are coming off a State Championship season and have their sights set on repeating. For Alexa, she is ready to get back on the field with her teammates and help lead the team this season. Despite the injury being a bump in the road, Alexa has used it as fuel to become physically and mentally stronger. While watching from the sidelines she was able to absorb knowledge of the game from a different perspective which will only help her as she furthers her lacrosse career. Read more about Alexa and her journey back to the field in a recent interview with the LILJ.
Q. After missing last season due to injury, how excited are you to get back on the field this season?
A. After missing last year’s season, I’m more excited than ever to get back on the lacrosse field this year. Lacrosse has always been something I truly enjoy and love. Whenever I get on the field, I forget about everything in my life and just go out and give it my all. It’s a feeling that is unexplainable. I can’t wait to play with my teammates this year and make unforgettable memories, and hopefully be back in Cortland!
Q. What were your emotions like seeing your team win the State Championship last year?
A. Seeing my team win the State Championship last year made me so happy and so proud for them. They are amazing. At every game, I saw how much each player improved and how much work they put in to be successful. Even though it was sad not to be able to play, it gave me more motivation to step out on the field and play!
Q. Did you learn anything about yourself and your team watching from the sideline last year?
A. I definitely learned that mental toughness and not feeling bad for yourself was a huge thing I had to focus on. Even though my situation was not ideal, I still held my head up high every day knowing that if I keep working hard, I would be out on the field in no time. I learned that through the hardest times you have to keep pushing because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I also learned a lot from the sideline, watching my team and seeing first hand how people utilize both their weaknesses and strengths into their game. I had the opportunity to see the whole field and assess the psychology behind our plays. Watching so many games from a coaching perspective has definitely helped my lacrosse IQ and given me more passion to be part of the sport I love!
Q. Are their any positives you can take from this ACL injury?
A. Despite how sad tearing my ACL was and how hard missing a season of lacrosse was, I think overall I have grown mentally and physically from this experience. Last season I had the opportunity to watch over 20 games of lacrosse from a coaches perspective versus a players, for the first time in my life. This experience made me realize that you can never take anything as simple as walking, running, or playing the sport you love for granted – because the minute it’s gone, you will regret it. I’ve never been more happy and thankful to be stepping out on the lacrosse field again! This injury has changed my work ethic and my appreciation for all the little things, and I am extremely grateful for that.
Q. What are your goals both individually and as a team this year?
A. I think I can speak for everyone that our teams goal is to definitely bring Northport another state title and leave a mark in history for the second year in a row. I think this year our team is totally psyched to get out there and be ready for whatever the season brings. We lost some amazing players this year, so we have been really working on the new connections with people on the team, tons of communication and the encouragement of people to step out of their comfort zone. For me personally, I think my goal is to work with my team as much as I can to make everyone on the field look as good as one another. I want to lead my team, along with the other captains, to a great, long year of lacrosse and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen!
Q. How did you decide on playing for UNC next year?
A. When I was looking at colleges, I was waiting to find a place where I felt like I was home. As soon as Coach Levy gave me a tour of the campus, I knew that was where I wanted to spend the next 4 years of my life! The outstanding coaches, the work ethic they brought into their team, and the amazing education I would get graduating from UNC amazed me. Still, 4 years later after verbally committing, I feel as if I made the best decision going to UNC and wouldn’t change it for the world!
Q. Who are some of the people that helped you get to where you are today?
A. Throughout my journey, I would have to thank my mother, father, and my grandparents for being there with me every step of the way with support and love. A few more important people who have been a huge impact in my life is Coach Carol Rose, Coach Al Rose, and Coach Alexis Curcio. They have always supported me and pushed me to be the best I can be and to never give up , I have never had coaches who have cared so much about their players and the game of lacrosse . Without the amazing help and support from my trainers at Xceleration I would not feel as confident post surgery and as well prepared for the season ahead of me. Without any of these people I don’t think I could be anywhere close to where I am today and I am extremely thankful for each and every one of them!
Q. Do you see lacrosse being part of your life after you finish college?
A. I don’t know where my future will take me, but I definitely know that I would love to further my lacrosse career after I finish college, it’s such an important part of my life!!