Belle Vernon soccer standout Laurita flips college commitment to Georgia State

Friday, March 20, 2020 | 10:41 PM

Nearly six months after announcing a verbal commitment to the University of Memphis to play soccer, former Belle Vernon Area star and Pittsburgh Riverhounds ECNL squad member Izzy Laurita flipped her commitment and will now be heading to Georgia State, a member of the Sun Belt Conference.

“I was talking to (Georgia State) head coach Ed Joyce last summer, but due to the high school season starting up, I never made it to Atlanta for a visit,” Laurita said. “Georgia State was high on my list last year, and as I reflect on my decision, I realize I should have taken the time to explore all of my options.”

Laurita said the style of play the Panthers’ coaching staff preaches translates to her game.

“The staff is very experienced and has worked hard to build a strong program,” she said. “The school is building a new soccer complex on campus and is investing a lot in the women’s and men’s programs.

“I’m planning on studying business, and the location in Atlanta provides incredible internship opportunities.”

As a sophomore at BVA, Laurita scored 33 goals and had 20 assists. She stepped away from the high school team last season after scoring four goals in three games.

She has continued to train and play with the Riverhounds and was currently in the Cup season until the coronavirus put things on hold.

“My decision to not play high school soccer wasn’t easy, but I feel I have been able to maximize my training during those months on the field and in the weight room,” Laurita said.

She added that Joyce has emphasized coming into camp in top shape. She vowed to continue working on areas of her game she needed to improve on while she wasn’t on the field during the high school season.

“Once the season starts, there’s not a lot of time for fitness due to the games and tactical practices,” Laurita said. “I’ve definitely found myself improving. The staff with the Riverhounds has pushed me to be more comfortable in one-on-one situations and maximizing the effectiveness of my first touch. I’ve really improved my strength and mobility.”

Laurita and her Riverhounds team had the opportunity to play in two showcases, one in Florida and another in Houston, and is 4-2 overall.

“Hopefully we will be able to resume our season,” she said.

And what about a return to her high school team for her senior season? She didn’t rule it out.

“I really haven’t given it any thought because my focus has been on my Riverhounds season,” she said. “After the season, I will have to reflect and give it some consideration.”

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