“Outside midfield is one of the most physically demanding positions on the field. I'm constantly moving 60-70 yards in each direction, covering a lot of space. It's really tough, but also really fun,” - Carley LoPresto.
When you think of some of the best midfielders in soccer the one thing that always stands out is the vision. Playmakers are hard to come by on the soccer field. Great midfielders usually can see a play before anyone else.
Andrea Pirlo of Italy comes to mind as being one of the best in the game. He could pick out players without even trying. His “vision” on the field was better than a lot of players during his time.
No one will ever say that Livonia High School Carley LoPresto is the next coming of Pirlo. But, she is a very talented midfielder who will be taking her talents to Canisius College in fall. LoPresto, originally from Lancaster, is a solid outside midfielder who can play a solid defensive game or join the rush and help support the play.
Her game resembles that of Matteo Darmian. While he lines on defense for Manchester Untied, he normally plays the wing for the Italian National team - joint the rush when he needs to.
The fact is LoPresto represents the new soccer player. One that is versatile to play any position that the coaches want her to play. She is a coaches dream and an opposing teams nightmare.
“My role is different as an outside mid, depending on the formation and tactics of my coaches. My role on my Empire team is to make sure that I get up and support the offense, providing options on the outside,” she explained. “I also need to have pace to get back and close down the outside midfield, defensively. I obviously enjoy it more when we are on the attack using the outside, where I can play some dangerous balls in the box or even get some opportunities myself.”
LoPresto’s play impressed Division I coaches who came to look at her - but it almost wasn’t meant to be. While living in Lancaster, LoPresto was part of the Lancaster Lady Monsters lacrosse club.
Soccer wasn’t even a thought as lacrosse, which is huge in Lancaster, was on the mind from the beginning. But, after moving, LoPresto started to take soccer more seriously. Her and her sister were able to get onto to some travel teams - which helped them get noticed more.
“Before moving to Livonia, I lived in Lancaster, NY until I was 10-years old. Lancaster is much bigger than Livonia, so my experience playing competitive sports was more limited. Back then I really only played lacrosse for the Lancaster Lady Monsters. There were a lot of girls my age playing lacrosse in Lancaster, so standing out was not very easy, especially at a younger age,” explained LoPresto. “When I moved to Livonia, and first started to like soccer, I played on my local Livonia Soccer Club summer team. It was easier to stand out and be recognized on that team, but we also played against bigger Monroe County towns that had multiple clubs/teams that were very competitive. My Livonia team was very good and I had lot of fun, but I eventually wanted to play at a higher level. I decided I would tryout for Rochester Futbol Club. When I joined RFC, many doors opened for different opportunities to get noticed by college coaches. Overall, living in a small town was tough at first to get noticed, but since I joined premier level soccer it was much easier.”
Still it wasn’t easy moving from a big town like Lancaster to a small town like Livonia. Opportunities are more limited in a small town. While you can standout more, the competition might not be as fierce - especially when it comes to high school.
But, that didn’t stop LoPresto or her sister from making names for themselves. They both went out there and proved just how good they were. LoPresto’s older sister took a scholarship and went to Niagara, while she is heading to Canisius.
What makes these scholarships even more special is that they are the only two soccer players to sign Division I scholarships for soccer. Think about that for a second. All these girls that have gone through the school, and only two have gone Division I. That’s pretty impressive.
“According to our school athletic director at Livonia, there have only been two girls to get offers to play Division I soccer and that is my sister, Lindsey, who is attending Niagara University and myself,” she said. “I think it is a great accomplishment to play at this level coming out of Livonia. We might be the only soccer girls from Livonia going to play Division I soccer, but there are also some great athletes at Livonia that have gone or are going Division I in other sports. We are proud not just to get that offer, but also proud that we are willing to make a greater commitment to the sport we love, by accepting that offer. We are both thinking ahead now. We each don't want to just be happy about making a team. We want to play and become important contributors to our college teams.”
LoPresto knows she has a lot to prove to the coaching staff at Canisius, and even herself. Eyes will be on her when she steps on campus in the fall. But, before true fall, LoPresto will be working hard this summer improving her game.
She wants to make sure she isn’t just sitting on the bench when the season starts. LoPresto wants to make a difference for her team.
“Before stepping into preseason at Canisius I think I have to work on pretty much everything, but I specifically need to work on strength and agility,” stated LoPresto. “Top women college players have many different skill sets, but they all seem to be very strong and play very fast.”
Canisius is very excited to have her on campus. The Griffs have been making strides over the past couple of seasons, but have yet to take that next step in MAAC.
They are hoping with LoPresto in the fold that that all changes. With her vision, and the ay she plays the game, LoPresto could easily step in and make a difference right away. She could be the playmaker the Griffs have been waiting for.
“Carley LoPresto comes out of a well thought of club in WNY in terms of Empire’s DA organization. Additionally she has shown her value through her accomplishments with Livonia Central both on and off the field as a student-athlete that will excel on campus here at Canisius,” stated Canisius College coach Todd Clark. “We feel she has the potential to play throughout the midfield for us as she has done in school and club as we have watched her and may even see time in the defense with her size. She is a calm and composed player who is another piece of the puzzle for us as we put together the 2018 class and look forward to the coming season here at Canisius.”