Noelle Harvey made it official last week. The Huntington High School senior inked an NCAA Division I letter of intent to attend Wagner College and play lacrosse for the Seahawks.
One of the best defensive players on Long Island, the teenager is expected to lead the Blue Devil team this spring. Ms. Harvey has followed in the footsteps of her older sister, Diana, who also played for Huntington before heading off to Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania where she tallied 109 goals and 43 assists in 55 games at midfield over the past four years. She holds the W&J career draw control record with 184.
“I give Diana a lot of credit because she influenced most of my athletic decisions,” Ms. Harvey said. “In the beginning it started as kindergarten stations and then grew into Huntington Village Lacrosse and eventually an intense summer league and lastly varsity at Huntington High School.”
It was during the summer preceding her freshman year that Ms. Harvey realized it was possible to extend her playing career past high school. “I was happy to even think about a college career in lacrosse, let alone a Division I career.”
In December of her freshman year, Ms. Harvey thought her career was over. “Coming out of a winter tournament I tore my ACL and the following summer between freshman and sophomore years was a prime recruitment time. I was solely looking at Division II and III. When Wagner reached out to me I fell in love with it after visiting and speaking with the coach.”
Ms. Harvey rallied from the depths of despair following her injury and the surgery that followed. “I didn’t think I could return strong enough for the prime recruitment summer,” she said.
“After surgery that January and with the help of my physical therapists, I prepared to play that June,” Ms. Harvey said. “Coming back so early I hoped to be seen by college coaches. Back then if you told me I was going to play Division I lacrosse at Wagner I would have thought you were crazy. Wagner not only met my athletic interests, but it exceeded my academic desires. Going into college knowing that I can complete a five year physician assistant program and play lacrosse at the same time is a dream come true.”
Ms. Harvey knows her position doesn’t generate much glory, but that really doesn’t bother the teenager too much. “Although defense may not get the recognition it deserves, it is just as important and satisfying as an attacker,” she said.
A private liberal arts college located in Staten Island, Wagner features a 105 acre campus overlooking Manhattan. The school enrolls 1,750 undergraduates and 450 graduate level students. The student body represents 44 states and 30 foreign countries. The physician assistant program is one of the most popular majors along with business administration, nursing, theatre/speech, arts administration and psychology.
As she heads into the final months of her senior year and continues training for her last season in a blue and white uniform, Ms. Harvey is reflective.
“My overall experience at Huntington has shaped who I am today,” the senior said. “Huntington has taught me to be tough and hardworking. Without all the wonderful teachers, I wouldn’t be where I am today. A special thanks to Mr. [Robert] Gilmor for believing in me and really caring for me these past four years. Playing my last season as a Huntington Blue Devil is going to be bittersweet.”