It is Tiffany Manzi’s sophomore year of high school and after a successful lacrosse scouting tournament at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, the letters of colleges that were interested in her started to pour in. Some of these schools included big time programs such as Harvard University and Northwestern University.
“I didn’t really understand the process or what to do, so I pretty much just ignored them and figured I would hear from them again,” Manzi said.
This of course did not happen. But after high school her coach made a couple calls to Quinnipiac University and Central Connecticut State University, Manzi jumped on the opportunity and toured both schools. Manzi ultimately chose Quinnipiac. “It has been a perfect fit for me,” she said.
Manzi, a junior public relations major from Agawam, Mass. grew up playing soccer and did not even pick up a lacrosse stick until seventh grade. However, she still managed to gain all-league recognition in high school all four years and set a record for goals in a single season at Agawam High School.
Manzi made an immediate impact upon joining the women’s lacrosse team at Quinnipiac. In her freshman season, she finished tied for third on the team in points after accumulating 20 goals and nine assists.
Since then Manzi has finished second in total points her sophomore season and now leads the team in points with 40 (31 goals, 9 assists) with one regular season game remaining.
The goal totals stand out, but Manzi recognizes two particular goals from her freshman season that really stand above the rest as pivotal moments in her career. Coincidentally enough, both goals came in the same weekend, both in overtime, both game winners against Wagner and Mount St. Mary’s.
“I will never forget that weekend, or how good it felt to know that I had made such an impact,” Manzi said.
Even though Manzi still considers herself a “soccer player,” learning more about the sport of lacrosse has caused Manzi to become “addicted” to it.
“Women’s lacrosse is a unique sport because it takes an incredible amount of skill,” Manzi said. “The pockets on our sticks are much shallower than that of the men’s. It takes a good amount of hand-eye coordination, finesse, and it is really important to keep your composure when you are handling the ball. Also, lacrosse is a very fast paced game, while running at full speed you still need to be able to move the ball and keep control.”
Manzi credits coach Danie Caro for making sure the team focuses on their life after lacrosse.
“There is no professional women’s lacrosse team that any of us are trying to join, so most of her lessons and coaching are geared to prepare us for life,” Manzi said.
After school Manzi hopes to work as a PR professional and hopefully coach a youth or high school team somewhere down the road. Manzi is still humbled by the chances she has been given at Quinnipiac and the accomplishments she has achieved.
“I knew that I would be able to play and contribute, but I didn’t foresee myself contributing as much as I did so early on,” Manzi said.
The women’s lacrosse team is 9-4 on the season and currently on a seven game winning streak. Much of this success can be attributed to Manzi; however, she is quick to point out that teamwork is what makes up a successful program.
“There are 25 girls on our team and all of us share the same joys as well as the same triumphs,” Mazi said. ” We win together and we lose together. We are punished together and we are rewarded together. It’s like having 25 sisters that will always be there no matter what.”