Lea Flobeck has committed to further her academic and athletic career at University of Florida. Starting in the fall of 2023, she will compete at the Division I level as a gator. Despite the departure of her high school’s long-term head coach, she hopes to help lead her team back to the County Championship game this spring.
Flobeck started playing lacrosse when she was five years old when her dad purchased fiddle sticks for her to play with in the backyard. Her older sister, Alex Flobeck, is nine years older and is a Mount Sinai and University of Massachusetts Amherst alumni. “It was so exciting seeing the opportunities you can get from playing the sport, so I just knew I wanted to [play at the next level],” Lea Flobeck said.
Coach Bertolone retired this past spring as Mount Sinai’s head coach for girl’s lacrosse. He had been a part of the program for many years and was known for his passion of being mentally tough. Flobeck said that he is known for preparing players for the college level and was a huge factor in their wins at the high school level. Their assistant coach, Shayna Pirreca, graduated with Alex Flobeck and is conveniently a University of Florida alumni and lefty player just like Lea. “She’s definitely a great role model for me.”
In preparation for the spring season, Flobeck said they are trying to get the team together to bond, as she feels having a strong team will help them be successful. Individually, she is getting in training sessions with Coach Pirreca and Coach Gongas, assistant men’s lacrosse coach at Hofstra University. The goals for the team are to work together more and to play more freely. For herself, she hopes to play with more confidence.
Flobeck has played for the Long Island Yellow Jackets since third grade and has loved her time there. “I love my coaches. My coach Becky Thorne has been my coach forever and my older sister’s coach. She’s so easy going. It’s always a fun time being at practice.” She said both her high school and club coaches assisted her in the recruiting process. She was able to get great exposure from college coaches and was able to be put in contact with many of them.
When recruitment started Flobeck made sure to keep an open mind, something she advises aspiring college players to do as well. Florida called her at 12:01am on September 1st and she just knew she felt different about them. Even when other schools reached out to her, she always kept her upcoming trip to Florida in the back of her mind.
She said everything was so well organized and professionally done when she made her visit to University of Florida. She even got to take professional photos with some of the other recruits she went with. Between the photoshoot, the football game, and the food it was such a fun day in her words. All of the girls on the team made it seem like this was the right choice. When Coach Taryn did her home visit at Flobeck’s house, she could just tell how much they care about their players.
She is looking forward to everything that University of Florida has to offer including pursuing a degree in sports nutrition. “I’m looking forward to having a really strong bond with the team and just all the opportunities it’s going to give me.”