(From NewsTimes.com article)
Lauren Chicomascolo gave area lacrosse fans a glimpse of what we’d be missing, offered a snapshot of a star in the making, during one of her last games for Newtown High.
This was in the spring of 2006 when Chicomascolo, still just a sophomore, led the Nighthawks past Brookfield 14-10 in the South-West Conference tournament final. Two of her game-high six goals came down the stretch after the Bobcats closed to within one, and she earned the most valuable player award.
Well, the future is now for the girl known as Chico, whose family moved to Orange County, Calif., two years ago. Recently named All-America for the second time, she closed out her scholastic career by helping St. Margaret’s Episcopal School capture the inaugural girls Southern Section championship, which includes Orange and Los Angeles counties.
Chicomascolo, who plays center, scored six goals in the 16-8 win over Palos Verdes and was named the MVP.
How’s that for sports symmetry?
“I never thought I’d feel anything like I did winning the SWC championship at Newtown. It was such a good experience,” she said during a recent telephone conversation a few hours before her high school graduation. “This year was really special, being the first team to do it, making history.”
East Coast. West Coast. For Chico, some things never changed. Including her devotion to Newtown, even though she couldn’t stay as long as she would’ve hoped. During lacrosse-related trips back East, she often stayed with Nighthawks’ coach Maura Fletcher.
“We always talk. We never really stopped talking. It was so hard to leave them,” Chicomascolo said. “Maura is such a great coach.”
Imagine how good the four-time defending SWC champions might’ve been if Chicomascolo had been able to join forces with friend and fellow All-American Courtney Gleason?
“I haven’t seen her since a lacrosse tournament in Maryland last summer and we really miss her,” Gleason wrote in an e-mail. “When she played for Newtown as a sophomore she was amazing. Unstoppable. I can’t imagine how much she’s improved now and I would never want to go ‘one v. one’ with her.
“I remember when we were at practice and would get paired with her, we would sneak to the back of the line because no one wanted to go against her. If we had her around the past two years, our chances of making it to the state championship would have definitely been greater, I think. She had really good chemistry with everyone on the field and was a very unselfish player.”
Chicomascolo’s reputation preceded her arrival at St. Margaret’s, a small school in San Juan Capistrano with 100 students per grade and a modest lacrosse program that existed for about five years before she enrolled.
“Everybody knew about Chico before she got there,” St. Margaret’s coach Summer Crabtree noted during a recent phone call. “I had heard about her. I didn’t even know how to spell her name; I didn’t know how to pronounce her last name. But I’d heard about Chico and that she was coming and that she was a phenomenal player and that I was extremely lucky to have her.
“And she lived up to every bit of that and more.”
A 5-foot-7 left-hander, Chicomascolo scored 65 goals in her one season at Newtown and 68 goals for St. Margaret’s last year before enjoying a breakout senior campaign this spring. The Orange County Register Player of the Year, she had 85 goals, 40 assists, 81 ground balls and 203 draw controls.
“She’s made my job very easy,” said Crabtree, whose first season coincided with Chicomascolo’s arrival. “She shows by example. She’s not the most vocal leader on the field but she has such a strong presence out there that she leads the team in just her actions.”
She’s also got skills, athleticism and the talent to play Division I. Crabtree, who played at Princeton, should know.
“When she walks out on that field she’s just a dominant player. She’s dominant in her size. She’s dominant in her skills. She’s dominant in her speed and in her knowledge of the game, as well,” Crabtree said. “Everyone who watched Chico, and coaching her, I felt like every time she got the ball she could take it in and score. And a lot of times she chose not to. She wanted to help her teammates develop and create more opportunities for her teammates. She is equal strength on both sides and she has a powerful shot. Our goalies were scared when she would shoot in practice. She has a shot that you would develop in college.”
Chicomascolo grew up in Glastonbury and had lived in California for four years before the family spent the 2005-06 school year in Newtown. Because lacrosse remains in the growing stages in California, she occasionally returned to the East Coast for summer tournaments and clinics. At home, she would drive an hour south to San Diego, seeking out the best competition in the state for weekend tournaments.
Her hard work over the years, from coast to coast, paid off in the form of another championship for her team, All-America recognition and a college scholarship.
We got a quick look into the future, a tease of her talents. Too bad we couldn’t watch her develop into one of the best in the country.
Contact Ed Flink at
(203) 731-3379 or