Defending the Goal: How Ally Zamparelli Worked Her Way to Committing to Division I Lacrosse as a Junior

by Neil Sahu, News Editor

Ally Zamparelli, a Junior from Glen Rock High School committed to Fairfield University for Division I lacrosse in October 2022. Throughout her years of playing lacrosse, Zamparelli has had many successes and roadblocks along the way. Zamparelli credits her friend Ryan Doyle for getting into lacrosse, as Doyle’s dad also played lacrosse and Ally started her lacrosse career through him. The first time Ally was on the field was when she was just six years old.

In her first game, Zamparelli liked the pacing and she wanted to keep continuing to play lacrosse.

“It was a little bit scary for me. But, you know, after a few shots, I kind of got used to it. And I started to have fun rather than be as nervous as I was going into it.”

In her career, Zamparelli has played many games, but one of her most important games was just last year when the girls lacrosse team was in the second to last round for finals. Glen Rock was up against a top team, and although the Panthers lost, Zamparelli held quite well against the other team, stating that she was surprised by her performance, but most importantly Zamparelli learned an important lesson for herself.

“It just showed me that even though we were expected to lose by a lot, like, just kept trying and didn’t put our heads down when things got bad, and I think it helped me perform better than I thought I could.”

Some of Zamparelli’s best memories were making the Under Armour All American Team as a Freshman over some of the girls she thought she had no shot against. Another good memory was when the girls lacrosse team beat Mahwah in states last year.

“It was very close every time and we came through and it was just the best feeling to be out there with everyone.” Zamparelli added.

While Zamparelli has had many great memories and highlights throughout her career, none of this could have been achieved without having many challenges throughout her journey. Being a goalie for a sport like lacrosse is not easy, and Zamparelli asserts that:

“Sometimes you feel like it’s all your fault if the ball goes in, but you kind of have to remember, there’s so many other people on the field before it gets to you.”

When Zamparelli was a Freshman she had to prove to many people that she could be a great goalie. She went into the season finding out that there were two seniors and one junior as a goalie, and while she was younger than them, she stated that she had to work 10 times harder than them, and although it wasn’t an easy task mentally or physically, the hard work paid off.

“I think it’s helped me become a leader. You know, being the last person on defense and having to control the defense and everything. I try to keep the team up, you know, it’s hard to not put our heads down, but I want to be there for everyone and let them know, like, win or lose. You know, we’re still a team, we can still play.”