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Herricks grad signs lacrosse contract

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Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 11:48 am | Updated: 1:51 pm, Thu Feb 9, 2012.

Charlie Cipriano, a 2008 graduate of Herricks High School, made history earlier this month when was selected by the Denver Nationals of Major League Lacrosse.

Cipriano, who is currently a senior at Fairfield University, is the first goalkeeper to be drafted out of Fairfield in program history.

"It's an honor," Cipriano said.

He said he would dream about making the team when he was younger.

The Williston Park native was the 54th overall pick of the draft, just one pick after Stags teammate Brent Adams, of Norwalk, CT.

Cipriano had a career year in 2011 as he led Fairfield to a berth in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Lacrosse League's inaugural championship game.

After posting a .586 save percentage, sixth-best in the nation, and making a career-high league-leading 177 saves, he received a good deal of recognition, including his selection as Eastern College Athletic Conference Lacrosse Keeper of the Year. He was also on the conferences all first team and tournament team.

Cipriano, who was elected captain by his teammates in December, credits much of his ambition and success to his lacrosse beginnings in Williston Park.

"I kind of play for teammates and to prove people wrong," he said. "People put the odds against me coming out of Herricks because we didn't have a particularly big program."

Coming up through the Herricks program, he said, has helped him a lot in the long run.

"I saw a lot of shots in high school, which really helped me out for college," he said.

Cipriano began playing lacrosse in sixth grade, following in the footsteps of his older cousin who played at Herricks High School.

After playing for the Herricks Middle School and High School, where he was named second-team All-American and Nassau County Goalie of the Year in 2008, Cipriano was recruited and signed by Fairfield University where he found "a good school, a good program, and an awesome coach."

Upon graduating and completing his last collegiate season in May, Cipriano will travel to Denver to join the Nationals, whose season will have begun in April.

"I'm really looking forward to playing for Denver," Cipriano said, who is currently balancing time between preparing for his final season as a Stag and applying to graduate schools for Fall 2012.

Because the Major League Lacrosse season only runs from April until August, Cipriano hopes to attend graduate school in the fall, winter, and spring to work towards becoming a guidance counselor, and play lacrosse in the spring and summer.

In the meantime, the keeper has a whole new season to look ahead to.

As a captain, he will have the opportunity to help some of the younger, developing players.

When it comes down to it though, "game day is game day," he said.

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