This weekend, Back Of The CAGE caught up with the 12th ranked Long Island Midfielder from Easport-South Manor High School, Samantha Filippi for our weekly Senior Spotlight Series interviewing a new senior each week.
The Princeton University signee helped the Sharks win a NY State Championship last year and will use her championship experience and being on varsity since a freshman to help the new players in their respective roles while Filippi will be taking on more of a role after the loss of Kasey Choma (Notre Dame Freshman). Samantha is an already accomplished player having garnered Back Of The Cage Honorable Mention Media All Long Island, All Division, Ranked 22nd Top Senior on Long Island by BOTC and recognized as IL Young Gun Junior Rankings “On the Rise” List with more awards and accomplishments to come after her senior year.
A 4-year varsity starter for the reigning NY State Champions and a US Lacrosse Academic All American is humble but without question, one of the top midfielders in the country one year away of playing for the Pre-Season 4th Ranked Division 1 Tigers. Sammy's goal is to repeat as state champions and although the loss of a key player in last years championship run, the team doesn't need to find ways supersede that loss as the Sharks are returning over a dozen future DI-DIII players with depth at each position and a hungry senior in Filippi who has an unprecedented work ethic coupled with her speed will leave the team in good hands and she will "empty her tank" especially knowing this is her final year.
Q&A:Back Of The CAGE (BOTC): Your Sharks had an incredible run last year winning the 'trifecta' by capturing the Suffolk Class B Championship, Long Island Class B Championship and the NY State Class B Championship and only had 1 loss all year. What do you attribute to the success the team had last season?Samantha Filippi (SF):
I would attribute the success of our team last season to strong team chemistry. Every single player on our team wanted the same outcome- to win a state championship. Every girl on our team recognized the role they needed to play to be the best they could be for the team. We also put in a lot of hard work before and during season and started preparing early. We went into each game mentally prepared for each of our opponents and focused on knowing our competition as well as we could prior to stepping out on to the field with them.BOTC: Although you lost an All American in Kasey Choma, you have a lot of key returners with 5 top 33 ranked juniors and seniors by Back Of The Cage all with championship experience and more than a dozen college bound players as of now. What are you expectations for 2020 and do you believe your Sharks can repeat? SF:
Undoubtedly, Kasey has played an integral leadership role on our team for the past few years. Although losing her will be an adjustment for our team, I think that knowing what winning a state championship feels like has left us even more hungry for another title. Every year when seniors graduate, there's an opportunity for the returners to step up and fill their shoes. At ESM, we have a great group of girls who are all really pumped to hopefully win another state championship. If we play with the intensity and passion that we put forth last season, there are no limits as to how far this team can go.BOTC: How do you want to be remembered after graduating and is there anything personally you want to achieve that you haven't already? SF:
After graduating I hope to be remembered as someone who would have done anything for the team. I want to be the type of player that puts the success of her team first, and I would like my teammates to remember me as a good leader. Personally, this year I would like to succeed at being a leader on the field.BOTC: What is your most memorable moment thus far?SF:
The most memorable moment of my entire athletic career was the moment we became state champions. It was so emotionally overwhelming to achieve something that we had all worked so incredibly hard towards.BOTC: What is your favorite quote or saying from Coach Thorn?SF:
"Empty the tank
" is something that Coach Thorn has always instilled in us. Last year, this actually became our team motto. Thorn has always taught us to value every moment we spend on the field, and I think it was a saying that motivated us to win a state title. She has always reminded us, especially during the playoffs, that our time playing with our team is limited. If we lose in playoffs, it is the last game we will ever play with our seniors. Will we be satisfied? Will we walk off the field knowing that we did the best we could? "Empty the tank" serves to remind us to leave it all on the field every time we play and exert ourselves to our maximum potential. BOTC: Being a 4 Star Recruit, why did you want to be a future Tiger and choose Princeton University?SF:
I chose Princeton because I knew that it would be the best place for me to thrive as both an athlete and a student. From the moment I visited campus and spoke with my coaches, I knew that Princeton was my home. I'm so excited to be able to play lacrosse at a high level with a historically competitive program. Beyond athletics, I was attracted to the rich academic tradition of the university. Being able to play lacrosse at the highest collegiate level while receiving an unbeatable education is an opportunity that I feel so honored to be presented with.BOTC: Are you superstitious and do you have any pregame rituals?SF:
I am probably one of the most superstitious people you will ever meet. Before every game, I have to get my iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. I also always wear my hair the same exact way with the same scrunchie to fasten my pony tail, and our whole team has to have their inspirational word written on their forearm. I have a lot more superstitions, but those are probably the most important.BOTC: What’s on your playlist before games?SF:
My personal pregame playlist consists of a lot of rap music to get me pumped up for our games. However, our locker room playlist before games consists of a lot of older songs that we can all dance/sing along to. Dancing in the locker room before games is one of the best ways for us to all get excited for the competition.Rapid Fire Questions
: Favorite Food?
Chocolate ice creamFavorite Movie?
Lone SurvivorFavorite Sports Team?
Patriots Check back next week to meet Russel Maher from Mount Sinai High School.