Senior Tatiana Monteleone battles injuries to reach her goal of playing college lacrosse


Credit: Tati Monteleone

Tati Monteleone hustles back on defense after an offensive turnover. Her commanding stick skills make her a huge asset on attack. Despite her injuries throughout high school, Tati will continue pursuing her love of lacrosse in college.

By Julia Thomson, Sports Editor

Senior Tatiana Monteleone began playing lacrosse in third grade only after her dislike for soccer led her to try more engaging and high scoring sports. Despite the small presence lacrosse occupied in New York City where Tati lived, she joined the only club lacrosse team based there. Looking for a more competitive program during the start of middle school, Tati then joined a team from Westchester called the Top Side Snipers.

Tati, who was a new student at Hackley in ninth grade, explained that lacrosse played a big role in why she picked Hackley.

“It’s hard to find good lacrosse in the city,” she said. “I used to go to Marymount, which is in the city, and I was playing on the varsity lacrosse team in seventh grade. I was definitely more nervous coming to Hackley, a school with such a strong lacrosse program.”

At the end of her first season on the Hackley lacrosse team, Tati tore her ACL and meniscus.

“That was really tough,” she said, “I basically missed a lot of the D1 recruiting processes,” something she definitely would have pursued had the injury not occurred.

Tati came back from her injury sophomore year, ready to start fresh, only to pull her hamstring in the very first game that spring. She was out of lacrosse again for a couple of weeks.

“And then it healed so I started to play again, but it was tough because sophomore year I still kind of wasn’t playing like myself,” Tati said.

Despite all of the frustration with her injuries, Tati kept pursuing her goal of playing lacrosse in college and spent the entire summer at tournaments, camps, and prospect days.

“That summer I felt like myself again,” she said, “I was really happy to finally be playing again.”

Tati has never gone a full season on the Hackley lacrosse team injury free, nor has she been able to play on the field during one of the team’s NYSAIS championship wins. For her last season on the Hackley girls lacrosse team, Tati wants to be at her best and have fun.

Although her initial goals of playing division one lacrosse didn’t work out exactly as planned, Tati explained that “in the long run it actually ended up working out for me. For what I want to do in college I think D3 is much better for me and I’m super excited to play.”

Regardless of the many obstacles in her way, whether it was the lack of strong lacrosse in the city, or numerous injuries, Tati remained positive and motivated. Tatiana is going on to play lacrosse for the next four years at Washington and Lee University and will hopefully carry all of the lessons of this journey with her.