VERONA — Therese Pitman, a senior at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School, has earned a scholarship to play Division I lacrosse for the Binghamton University Bearcats next year. She signed her national letter of intent to Binghamton University Tuesday morning at VVS with family and friends attending the signing.
It was always Pitman’s goal to play a Division I sport in college, but she never imagined it would be lacrosse.
“I thought I was going to play basketball. I’ve been playing since I was little and my whole family loves basketball,” Pitman said. “Everyone was shocked when I switched to wanting to play Division I lacrosse, but I set my mind to it, and I did it. I’m proud of myself.”
Along with lacrosse, Pitman has also played basketball at the varsity level since she was a freshman and soccer at the varsity level since her sophomore year. She previously played softball and was a part of the swim team.
When Pitman decided to give up softball because it was too slow of a sport for her, she debated which spring sport she should play instead. She needed something different.
“It was between golf or lacrosse,” Pitman says. Finally it was her best friend and lacrosse teammate Allison Babcock who convinced her that she needed to play lacrosse with her.
“I knew that Therese had so much in her and golf wouldn’t have shown her full potential,” Babcock says. “Lacrosse shows what she is really made of.”
Duey Weimer, the VVS athletic director and Pitman’s lacrosse coach, was surprised when he first saw Pitman walk on to the lacrosse field for try-outs her freshman year. He knew her as a softball player. But once Pitman started playing for the lacrosse team everything clicked.
“She just got it. She really understood the sport,” Weimer said.
When asked about what makes Pitman stand out compared to others, Weimer says that it’s her tenacity that sets her apart as an athlete.
“She’s tenacious. If there is a loose ball, you know that Therese is always going to be one of the ones fighting for it. She works on her own,” Weimer said. “She’s probably the most dedicated athlete I’ve ever coached.”
The VVS lacrosse program is fairly new, being four years old and only having a varsity team the last two years. Pitman tried out her freshman year, the second year of the program. She made varsity the following year, the first year of the varsity team.
Pitman not only plays lacrosse as a Red Devil, but also as a Star Rider as she is a member of Central New York “Star Riders” Lacrosse Club. She has been playing with the club for less than a year. The club practices every week and participates in tournaments.
“With Star Riders I have gotten to travel to many different states for tournaments, just trying to get myself exposed,” Pitman added.
The idea of playing lacrosse for Binghamton was brought up to Pitman by her coach from Star Riders.
Pitman feels that Binghamton is a great fit for her not only in regards to athletics, but because of how academic the school is.
“Academics are what I’m really here for. They have great athletics and they have great education, I couldn’t go wrong with Binghamton,” Pitman states.
She plans on going pre-med and has been accepted into the Harpur Pre-Med school at Binghamton.
Pitman is currently a midfielder for VVS, but she wouldn’t be surprised if Binghamton has her playing defense next year, since they have already signed so many midfielders.
At Binghamton, Pitman will bring her positive attitude and energy to the team.
“When you go to a Division I sport there are a lot of cocky, overconfident players and I don’t want to be that player,” Pitman said. “I want to be the player that is a teammate. Someone that can bring the team up when we’re down. I want to set a positive attitude on the field and off.”
Last season, Pitman scored 55 goals for the Red Devils, averaging four goals a game. She had nine assists and 103 shots on goal.
Pitman truly has a passion for the sport and is looking forward to being a Bearcat next year.
“I fell in love with lacrosse. I would choose it over any sport any day,” Pitman concludes.