The Florida Gators lacrosse team will be joined by seven new players in the fall of 2021 as their recruiting class has been finalized.
Brie Catts, Elyse Finnelle, Josie Hahn, Emma LoPinto, Celeste Forte, Macy Zaban, and Alexa Waters will all join head coach Amanda O’Leary’s squad beginning next season.
Catts, a midfielder from Georgia, is a two-time Georgia state champion (2018, 2019) and was an Under Armour Underclass All-American all four years of her high school career. She was a four-year varsity starter and was invited to both the Nike Elite 120 and Under Armour 150, prestigious invite-only recruiting events, two times each (2017 and 2018).
Finnelle, a goalkeeper hailing from Maryland, was an Under Armour All-American Baltimore Champion in 2019-20 and was ranked on Inside Lacrosse’s Top-40 Young Gun Junior Watch List. She was a four-sport varsity athlete in high school and was named a finalist for the Heather Leigh Albert Award, a national award given to the lacrosse player deemed most outstanding in both ability and spirit by the HLA Lacrosse Foundation.
Hahn, a midfielder who also calls Maryland home, was a varsity starter all four years of high school. Hahn played for St. Paul’s School for Girls, who reached the IAAM A Maryland state championship in 2019. Hahn also played club lacrosse for Hero’s, a member of their Green team for the class of 2021 for two years (2019, 2020). She was a member of the All-Star team at the Max Exposure camp, a large recruiting camp that invites every college coach to watch players.
LoPinto, who played attack in New York, was named an All-American each of her final three years of high school. She was a part of a state champion and Long Island champion team her freshman year. She was a two-time All-County selection, as well as earning an honorable mention her freshman year. LoPinto wasn’t just a single sport specialist, either, winning Conference Player of the Year in basketball her junior year.
Forte, another New Yorker and a defender, was also a Long Island champion and a state champion. A three-time Under Armour All-American and an Under Armour Champion, Forte was a member of the USA U17 Development Team. A member of the LILJ G.O.A.T. Team, a site that recognizes the best lacrosse players across Long Island, and a Newsday Top-100 selection. She played club lacrosse with the Yellow Jackets, winning two national championships with them as well.
Zaban, an Illinois midfielder, was a part of the New Trier state champion team in 2019. In the run to the state championship, Zaban, who was a sophomore at the time, contributed two goals in a semifinal win over Glenbrook South. She also played for Team One Lacrosse Club.
Waters, the third New York native of the signing class, is a defender and a 2020 Newsday Long Island Top 100 selection. She was voted a 2018 Suffolk All-League selection. Waters was a member of the 2017 U15 Lacrosse Nationals All-Tournament Team and the 2018 Under Armour Long Island Command Team and was named a 2018 Elite 80 Top Performer.
“Our staff is very excited to welcome these seven young women into the Florida lacrosse family,” O’Leary said in a release.
Contact Ryan Haley at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ryan_dhaley.
Ryan Haley, a UF journalism senior with a sports & media specialization from Jacksonville, Florida, is Summer 2022's Engagement Managing Editor. He grew up playing a bunch of different sports before settling on golf, following Rory McIlroy and all Philadelphia sports teams. He also loves all things fiction, reading, watching shows and movies and talking about whatever current story or character is in his head.