Queensbury midfielder verbals to 'Cuse

Mary Rahal, a shifty midfielder, knew in her heart that Syracuse was where her future was academically and as a collegiate athlete. She will join the Syracuse women's lacrosse team in the fall of 2015.

For Mary Rahal and her parents, Joanne and Mounir, the recruiting process took them by storm. It was a whirlwind turn-of-events that eventually ended with a verbal commitment to play for Gary Gait at Syracuse University.

"We had no idea she was going to get recruited this early," Mrs. Rahal said via Skype. "It was a shock. It shocked us that it happened. We were expecting it to happened her junior year. It just all happened so quickly."

Mary, a sophomore at Queensbury (N.Y.) High School, caught the eye of the Orange this past November when she participated in a clinic in Syracuse.

"When I got back from the clinic," Mary said, "I heard from my coaches, Rita Hawkins, Nick Petraccione, Bill White and Andrea Duffy. They all said that the [Syracuse] coaches were interested in me. They told me that out of all the players there, their eyes were on me and that I stood out to them."

The nimble midfielder first got introduced to the sport of lacrosse in sixth grade when she was heading to class and saw a poster encouraging girls to try out for the Adirondack lacrosse traveling team. After talking to her mother, she tried out, made it and hasn't looked back. When Mary verbally committed to the Orange, it was a sense a relief, like the weight had magically disappeared.

"I think when I committed; personally, it was a lot of stress off my shoulders and I could focus a lot on the basics and work on the things I need to work on. I picked Syracuse because when I visited there, I just loved it. I just got this feeling that I didn't get from some other schools I visited. And plus, I like my parents coming and watching my games, too."

She continued, "I actually knew [Coach] Rowan before I met her at the visits. She used to coach me on Albany Elite. I just had a really good connection with all of the coaches and got along with the team. I felt like I was already part of the group."

The sophomore garnered attention from other prestigious lacrosse schools such as Loyola, Boston University, Florida and North Carolina. Her accomplishments aren't that shabby either and include being a varsity starter since eighth grade, making the national team for the Upstate and Adirondack region as well as being named to the Long Island region national team for the brine All-American Lacrosse Classic.

With two more years to fully develop, Mary is eager to get better and improve further on her strengths and weaknesses in terms of the sport. She notes that while she is really strong with her right hand and seeing things the first time it happens, she needs to get stronger in regards to wrist control, left hand and at the draw.

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