ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: VINCENT SOMBROTTO
Q: What years did you play at Hofstra?
I played from 1977-1980
Q: What position did you play?
I was mostly a midfielder but also played attack.
Q: Who were your coaches?
In my time at Hofstra I was fortunate to play for some great coaches and men. The Head Coach was Harry Royle a former Hofstra Lacrosse and Football player. Assistants included Jim Amen, Bengt Barbaccia,Chris Deeks, Ron Fraser, Joe Taylor, and Kevin Huff.
Q: What was your experience like while playing for Hofstra?
I went to Chaminade High School and we used the Hofstra University stadium turf field as our home field for football, so I felt comfortable in that environment since I had played there many times. I was undersized coming in as a freshman weighing about 140 pounds and about 5’9 – 5’10. I was young for my grade being born in November, I was physically immature. My size forced me to be good at fundamentals. My coaches saw something in me. They constantly encouraged me. They trusted me and gave me a lot of playing time. My teammates were amazing. They welcomed me, and the older guys took me under their wings. It was great playing so close to home since I grew up in Port Washington, and it gave my family and friends an ability to come watch me play every chance they could get. I knew Hofstra had a very rich Lacrosse history and I hoped that I could help write another great chapter in that history. I loved every second playing and representing Hofstra.
Q: What is your favorite memory while playing for Hofstra?
It would be impossible to name just one. There are the games we were not supposed to win but we did. Our upset win over highly ranked Washington and Lee at Hofstra when I was a freshman, our upset wins over the University of North Carolina, UMass and Washington and Lee who were ranked in the top 5 in my sophomore year propelled us to number 7 in the country and qualified us for the NCAA playoffs. In my final year, 1980, our upset wins over Army, NC State and Washington and Lee are games I will always remember. But, I will say some of my fondest memories are the bus rides home after a big win. Coach Royle always allowed us to enjoy our sweet victories. We were always very close as a team. The leadership and friendship of guys like Joe Taylor, Kevin Huff, Chris Prifte, Tony Petillo, Richie Lewton, Eddie Wallace, Keith Huff, Joe Ferraro, Kevin Smith, James Metzger and Bob Quinlan made it a special time. Friendships that last a lifetime.
Q: Looking back, what’s one thing you took with you that you learned at Hofstra?
While I was at Hofstra it would be fair to say that while we did not match many teams we played in terms of talent or blue chip players, our opponents knew that against us they would always be in a dogfight. You might beat us, but we would take a physical toll on the teams we played. We played with a chip on our shoulders and with great determination. Under coach Royle’s leadership he demanded that although we might be defeated, we should never be outworked in our preparation. The foundation built for me by Hofstra Lacrosse enabled me to go on and have a very productive lacrosse career and life.
Q: What advice would you give to a future or current Hofstra Lacrosse player?
To the current or future Hofstra Lax players I would tell you to enjoy every second of what you do as part of that program. Four years pass in a blink of an eye. Work hard and make the best memories and friendships you can while at Hofstra. Live in the moment. Play for each other, love each other, and play to win.
See below some pictures of Vinny during his playing days: