Rizzo, a Queensbury graduate, has been the starting goalie on the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team for all but one game of her career. She said her coach’s confidence going into the NCAA’s decision gave her hope.
“When I found out, I was very, very excited. Just to have one more chance,” Rizzo said.
Ohio State’s athletic department decided that if head coach Alexis Venechanos wanted a senior back, and that senior wanted to return, the school will cover the same percentage of athletic aid next year as she is receiving this year. Seeing as how Rizzo is the school’s all-time save leader, with 661, a two-time captain and multiple Academic All-Big Ten selection, it didn’t take her long to say yes to Rizzo’s return.
“I’m really thankful for that,” said Rizzo, who recently finished her application to Ohio State’s graduate school for a master’s degree in sports management. She said she knew if the NCAA gave her the chance, she would return.
“I couldn’t be more fortunate,” Rizzo said. “In the Big Ten, our conference has at least three of the final four teams every year, just about. I never considered going anywhere else. I love our school and our team. I’ve had an amazing experience on and off the field.”
Rodriguez has the same sentiment, but as a baseball player at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina — with an enrollment of about 1,700 and no graduate programs — the Queensbury graduate faces more obstacles to returning.