By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington senior Gabby Fiora didn’t start playing lacrosse competitively until her freshman year at the high school. After her senior year at SHS, she will be continuing her lacrosse career at the next level.
Fiora’s journey from lacrosse novice to lacrosse leader will take her to Waterbury’s Post University, which plays in Division II of the NCAA. Friends, family and coaches joined Fiora at her signing in the high school library on Thursday, Dec. 13.
“I like that it’s close—and also that it’s small—so I’ll know most if not everybody there,” Fiora said. “It just kind of feels homey and also, one of my teammates already goes there—Molly Dobratz—which made me feel better about going there.”
Fiora also clicked immediately with Post coach Kayte Mills.“She was so sweet. She was so nice, and she made me feel so welcome,” she said.
Fiora’s lacrosse journey began in the summer before her freshman year at SHS. She was already a soccer player, so the athleticism was there. Her dad, Mark, and older brother, Evan, provided the help, and mom, Marisa, has also been there to support her.
“My dad used to play, my brother plays in college, so they helped me a lot,” Fiora said. “I was always kind of around it, and they helped me to learn to pass and catch.”
Fiora, who plays in a midfield attack position, has worked on her skills and gotten better each and every season. Coach Jill Pomposi believes Fiora will do well at Post.
“It’s nice and close, it’ll be great competition, obviously, and I think the strongest attribute that she has is her determination and her drive,” Pomposi said. “She picked up this sport her freshman year, it’s amazing. She has great athleticism naturally, and she’s been working on it to improve and tune it a little bit, and that really has helped her as well. She’s a natural lefty, so it does add a little bit of a trick for some defenders.”
Fiora has been willing to put in the work in, she asks questions, and she wants to get better, Pomposi said. What is also good about Fiora is her personality.
“She’s an amazing teammate, she’s super supportive. The girls all respect her, she’s very approachable,” Pomposi said. “She’s very level-headed, you never have to pull her out to help her get a minute to gather herself and chill out. Those are all great, great qualities that will help her next year.”
Pomposi is looking forward to having Fiora playing close, and being there with former Southington teammate Dobratz. Fiora is the first of likely several SHS Class of 2019 lacrosse players to commit to a college.
“It really is a testament to how hard she has worked both on the field and off the field, in season and out of season, and it really is something she should be exceptionally proud of,” Pomposi told Fiora during the signing ceremony. “It makes us proud as a program and as an entire athletic department.”
Fiora is level-headed, kind and quiet, but don’t mistake those qualities for a lack of aggression. Fiora is ready to go once the game starts.
“She doesn’t look super aggressive, but she is naturally,” Pomposi said. “She’s very sweet, but she’s very aggressive.”
Southington went 7-8 in the regular season in 2018 and reached the Class L state tournament. The Lady Knights lost to South Windsor in a qualifying round game.
“We’re hoping to get to the tournament and go farther than we did last year,” Fiora said.
Fiora’s actions on the field will go a long way toward helping Southington return to the postseason.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com