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    Roccaro shined as LI player of year

    by Mike Gavin on
    Mon, Dec 12, 2011 4:01 PM

    Updated Mon, Dec 12, 2011 5:15 PM
    Roccaro shined as LI player of year

    The caption on a photo tweet by a close friend read, "There's just something about Cari Roccaro."

    Turned out that it was actually Roccaro, East Islip's center midfielder, who had taken Rosy Hayes' phone, posed for a goofy picture, wrote the caption to poke fun at herself and posted it. But that doesn't make what she wrote any less true. There is something about Roccaro, something that helped make her the Newsday L.I. soccer player of the year.

    To understand what that something is, some of Roccaro's closest friends and fellow All-Long Island selections were asked to describe her in one word.

    "Dedicated," Ward Melville goalkeeper Ally Ramos said.

    There's just something about her work ethic, an inner drive that has a great player so dedicated to getting even better. When not playing high school or club ball or traveling the country as captain of the U-18 women's national team, she is breaking down video of games, going for a run or kicking a soccer ball around her backyard. During those rare occasions when she isn't doing something soccer related, Roccaro says she feels guilty.

    "A beast," Northport midfielder Kristi Abbate said.

    There's just something about her skill set that enabled her to enter "beast mode" on soccer fields across Long Island. Her dominance isn't reflected entirely in the 11 goals and three assists she amassed but in her ability to command a game with her speed, ball control and high work rate.

    "Unstoppable," MacArthur midfielder Jill Mulholland said.

    There's just something about her natural talent, that when combined with her work ethic and skill set, creates an unstoppable force. A force first recognized when she led East Islip to a Long Island championship as a freshman that now moves on to college soccer at Notre Dame.

    So how would Roccaro describe herself in one word?

    "Unpredictable," she said. "Because you never know what you're going to get when I'm out on the field."

    But, by now, we do know. You're getting a player who, in addition to making the All-Long Island team for the third time, also was named New York State player of the year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and selected as an All-American for the second straight season.

    "There are so many other great players that I'm honored to be recognized as one of the top players," Roccaro said. "But I can't get complacent. I always have to keep working. I can't stop. I won't ever stop until I reach the top."

    Which is exactly why there's just something about Cari Roccaro.

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