Long Island lacrosse player finds warm home with Lions

Sophomore Raucci has high hopes for Saint Leo this year

John Raucci, Saint Leo lacrosse
Seaford, New York, native John Raucci first picked up a Lacrosse stick when he was in kindergarten and hasn’t put it down since. (Photo Dylan Nazareth) 

ST. LEO, Fla. – John Raucci might say he misses the cold, but the Saint Leo lacrosse midfielder has certainly been enjoying the Florida heat.

After a hot start as a freshman landed him on the All-SSC Freshman Team, the Long Island native is aiming to increase his fire in his sophomore year.

Coming to Saint Leo came down to the location.

“It’s Florida,” Raucci said. “The weather is awesome, it’s always hot here.”

Now in his second year with the school, he’s found his footing and improving his game. This season, he says he’s greatly improved one important attribute.

“Confidence.” Raucci said. “Freshman year, I had a little bit, but not as much as I have this year.”

This new-found swagger has his sights set high. His goals this year include making the All-SSC Sophomore Team and helping the Lions to success in the NCAA tournament.

Originally from Seaford, New York, Raucci first started playing lacrosse when he was in kindergarten. It was the biggest sport in his hometown of 15,000 people, though he also played football and basketball in high school.

Lacrosse will always be his primary love, one that he hopes stays with him even when professional opportunities may be lacking.

“I know lacrosse isn’t as big as other sports out there, but I’m hoping one day I can coach my own team,” he said. “It would be pretty cool to always keep lacrosse close to me.”

For now, he’s focused on his current season, enjoying the Florida sun and visiting home when he can.

“I do miss the cold sometimes, being from New York,” Raucci said. “But I can’t complain. It’s beautiful down here, it’s a dream.”

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Posted: Mar 10 2024 6:00 pm
Filed under: Lacrosse Sports