A young Coquitlam lacrosse player is making an impact south of the border — in soccer.
Luca Antongiovanni was recently named a Western New England Prep School Soccer Association junior all-star after his first season at the prestigious Deerfield Academy in western Massachusetts.
Antongiovanni headed to Deerfield in September to further his lacrosse game in preparation for attending the University of North Carolina in 2020. He’s also an accomplished soccer player with Coquitlam Metro Ford’s Premier League program and played for the varsity team at Archbishop Carney.
But lacrosse is Antongiovanni’s first love.
“It’s different from other sports,” he said.
Antongiovanni started playing mini-tyke when he was five years-old and progressed to play for the provincial team, in box and field lacrosse, at various age levels. In 2017 he was named the most valuable player at the U15 national field lacrosse championships in Saskatoon where he led Team BC to gold.
But it was last summer Antongiovanni got perhaps his biggest thrill in the sport when he was part of the Coquitlam Jr. Adanacs’ Minto Cup championship in Calgary. At 16 years-old, he was one of the youngest players to ever participate in the championship tournament to determine Canada’s top junior lacrosse team.
Antongiovanni said it was a growing experience in several aspects. Adanacs’ coach Pat Coyle cast the young scorer in a defensive role and he got to experience first hand the formula for success at the highest level.
“The whole experience challenged me,” Antongiovanni said. “I got to play with a lot of players that I have looked up to throughout my minor lacrosse career.”
Antongiovanni charted his path to UNC when he was14, after a visit to see the Tar Heels play, tour the campus in Chapel Hill and meet with the coach of the school’s lacrosse team, Joe Breschi.
The decision to head south for two years of prep school in advance of university came with the help of his friend, Joe Dowling, another Coquitlam product heading into his second season at Deerfield after he played his freshman year at another top prep school in Greenwich, Conn.
“I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Antongiovanni said, adding the Massachusetts school offers the coaching and facilities that will better prepare him for NCAA competition.
Now, Antongiovanni just needs the calendar to move forward to spring, when he will trade his soccer boots for his lacrosse stick and helmet.
“The experience has been nothing but positive so far,” he said.