In the fall of her junior year at Calhoun High School, soccer star Kayla Cappuzzo, now an 18-year-old senior, played with her travel team, the Albertson Fury ’95, in a college showcase sponsored by the Elite Clubs National League in San Diego. Immediately after, she received an email from Tracey Leone, head women’s coach at Northeastern University. Then she heard from Leone’s husband, Ray, Harvard’s head coach.
They were both interested in potentially recruiting Cappuzzo.
Ultimately, Cappuzzo committed –– in January 2013, midway through her junior year –– to play for Northeastern on a full scholarship. Calhoun soccer coach Lori Biscardi said Cappuzzo’s determination to win, coupled with her lightning speed and leadership abilities, quickly attracted the attention of college coaches, leading to the Northeastern offer.
Cappuzzo has received a host of accolades, including All-Long Island Player of the Year and Nassau County Conference IAA Player of the Year. Last week, she captured one of the most prestigious high school athletics honors –– the New York State Gatorade High School Soccer Player of the Year. Among the competitors who have also received the award is Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach ––the world’s leading scorer in international play.
Clearly, Cappuzzo knows how to win. Last summer, Fury ’95 captured the ECNL U-17 national title, in a tournament played in Richmond, Va., and Cappuzzo was named Fury’s Player of the Year. At Calhoun, Cappuzzo, the Colts’ captain since her junior year, led the squad to its third straight county championship appearance last fall. Ultimately, the team fell to top-ranked Massapequa, but not without a fight.
Cappuzzo, a forward, ended her Calhoun career last fall with 25 goals and 35 assists.
Biscardi said she couldn’t think of a player more deserving of the Gatorade award than Cappuzzo. “She’s just dedicated to everything she does,” the coach said. “She’s the best student-athlete I’ve seen in 14 years, and she’s a good person. She’s so responsible and mature.”