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Vol. LXIII, No. 21
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
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(Photo by David Sinclair, Courtesy of Gettysburg College Sports Information)

GETTYSBURG ADDRESS: Allegra Formento heads up the field in action this spring for the Gettysburg College women’s lacrosse team. The former PHS standout, who transferred to Gettysburg this year from American University, helped the Bullets reach the NCAA Division III semifinals earlier this month. Midfielder Formento contributed 17 points this season on 16 goals and one assist.

Former PHS Lax Star Formento Finds Home, Moving to Gettysburg and Making D-III Semis

Bill Alden

Allegra Formento was thrilled to join the American University women’s lacrosse program in the fall of 2007.

The former Princeton High star looked forward to going to college in Washington, D.C. and testing her lacrosse skills at the Division I level.

But tiring of the regimented life of the D-1 athlete and deciding that she wanted to go to a smaller school, Formento concluded that transferring to a D-III program would be the best fit for her.

“I wanted to experience other parts of college life but I still wanted to compete at an elite level in lacrosse,” said Formento, who got into 11 games for American in the 2008 season and had three points. “I wanted the whole package.”

After considering such schools as Hamilton, Trinity, Connecticut College, Formento decided that Gettysburg College best filled her needs.

“I knew they were one of the top D-III programs,” said Formento, reflecting on the move to Gettysburg. “I knew I could be part of something special.”

Formento’s rationale proved to be on target as the Bullets produced a 16-4 season this spring and advanced to the NCAA D-III semifinals.

Transferring into Gettysburg this January midway through her sophomore year, Formento had some catching up to do in order to be a contributor this season.

“I didn’t have time to think about it,” said Formento. “I jumped into practice and it was alright let’s go. I hit the ground running. I busted my butt to earn my spot.”

With Gettysburg having lost nine starters from its 2008 team, Formento knew that she had the opportunity to earn a spot.

“It was a slightly new team; they had an amazing senior class the year before with four All-Americans,” said Formento. “There were a lot of players who didn’t have a lot of game experience.”

Formento made an immediate impact in Gettysburg’s opening game, scoring three goals in an 18-10 win over Mary Washington.

“I think that showed them that, ‘hey maybe she can provide something,’” said Formento.

“I happened to be very good at capitalizing on 8-meter shots. From the beginning, it was great.”

By early April, the Bullets were 10-0 and Formento knew the team could do some great things.

“The team chemistry on the field was coming across,” said Formento.

“I think maybe people didn’t expect too much from us. Every program has to go through rebuilding and we lost so many amazing athletes. We sit down in the beginning of the season and set our goals. We set our sights high.”

Formento credited Gettysburg head coach Carol Cantele with helping to create the team’s good chemistry.

“Carol Centele brings you along and lets you grow as a lacrosse player and as a person,” added Formento. “She treats everybody well; she is into building team and unity.”

Cantele, for her part, realized that Formento could be an important building block for the team’s success.

“Allegra is a quick study, she mixed in right away.” said Cantele. “She didn’t hold back on her opinions. She was like ‘I’m here and I am going to do something.’ She came in like gangbusters.”

Formento turned out to be something special for the Bullets, scoring 16 goals and picking up an assist in her role as an offensive midfielder.

“She was the unknown spark,” added Cantele. “She was on the midfield line, going in and out of the game a lot. She was very responsive to that. Her greatest asset was in an offensive role and we had another midfielder who did more for us defensively. Allegra was 4-for-8 in free positions; she made some at critical times.”

After a 14-3 regular season, Gettysburg was sent to the NCAA regional at The College of New Jersey and Formento had a great time coming home for the tournament.

The Bullets had a team dinner at Princeton High on May 9 after topping Roanoke 15-6 in the opening round of the tournament.

“I was excited; I love New Jersey and being from Princeton,” said Formento.

“It was great to show the school to my teammates. I could talk about Princeton High all day. It’s close-knit, everyone wants to know what you are doing. I was flattered that the support would continue after I have been gone for two years. I had a lot of people there watching me.”

In the NCAA quarterfinal against TCNJ the day after the PHS visit, Formento gave her supporters something special to watch. She scored two goals as the Bullets avenged a regular season loss to the Lions, pulling out a 10-9 squeaker to earn a ticket to the Final Four.

“It was an exciting game, back and forth,” recalled Formento. “It was 5-5 at half and four of our five goals in the second half were on free position shots. When we played them the first time, we stopped scoring and said let’s hold on. This time, we kept pressing. We couldn’t have picked a better way to show them that we were better.”

The next weekend, Gettysburg ended up on the short end of another nailbiter as it fell 11-10 to Salisbury State in the NCAA semifinals in Salem, Va.

“They were a great team; they seeded first and we were seventh so we were the underdogs,” said Formento.

“The defense played really well; it was a close game that could have gone either way. We gave everything. Coach said don’t have any regrets and all of us were asleep by 9 that night.”

Formento certainly doesn’t have any regrets about making the move to Gettysburg.

“It sped up my maturation process,” maintained Formento, who will playing Rec League lacrosse this summer in Princeton as part of the preparation for her junior campaign.

“I decided that I wanted a more full college experience. I found some really competitive lacrosse at the D-III level. It wasn’t a step down; it turned out to be a step up.”

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