Welcome to another edition of the “5 and 5” where we sit down with the top players in lacrosse and ask them five questions about life on the lacrosse field and five questions about life off the field.
This week’s “5 and 5” features 2018 Tewaaraton award winner and Athletes Unlimited attacker Sam Apuzzo. We discuss her pre-game routine with Dempsey Arsenault while at Boston College, her favorite athlete to watch, where she likes to vacation and much more!
Pro Lacrosse Talk: What are some of your pregame superstitions or routines?
Sam Apuzzo: I’m not very superstitious, but I usually have Dempsey [Arsenault] braid my hair a certain way every game. So, two years ago in the WPLL, I wasn’t able to do that since she was on a different team. So hopefully she’s on my team so she can braid my hair.
Pro Lacrosse Talk: What has been your favorite venue to play lacrosse at?
Sam Apuzzo: My favorite venue was probably the 2017 National Championship when we played at Gillette Stadium, which was just unreal for a team in Boston to playing where the Pats play. It was just so surreal to be playing lacrosse in such a huge stadium. And we were able to fill it out a good amount, which was kind of an electric environment for us. So it was really cool.
Pro Lacrosse Talk: Who’s been one of the toughest players to face during your career?
Sam Apuzzo: I think since I’m an attacker, I’d probably say Emma Trenchard, who’s a defender at UNC. She defended me every game. So it was definitely the hardest game of the season with one of the hardest defenders, so that was always a fight each game.
Pro Lacrosse Talk: Who’s a teammate or fellow lacrosse player that’s been a mentor for you during your career?
Sam Apuzzo: One of my biggest mentors and actually someone who’s from my hometown was Shannon Smith. She had played at Northwestern years ago and she actually won the Tewaaraton too. So I kind of followed in her footsteps. She took me under her wing when she was in college and I was in high school and she helped me throughout my whole entire college career. She was the one that guided me to Boston College eventually. So she’s been there for me every step of the way and I definitely try to do exactly what she has because she’s been so successful throughout her lacrosse career.
Pro Lacrosse Talk: What is your current stick setup?
Sam Apuzzo: I have the Nike Lunar Elite, which I love right now. I have traditional stringing.
5 questions about life
Pro Lacrosse Talk: What are some hobbies or activities you enjoy off the field?
Sam Apuzzo: Actually during quarantine, I really started picking up tennis. I can’t say I’m very good at it, but I do like playing a lot.
Pro Lacrosse Talk: Who’s a player in another sport that you really enjoy watching right now?
Sam Apuzzo: I really like watching LeBron James. Obviously, he’s just unreal compared to every single person in the league and it’s just really inspiring to see how hard he works and how it shows on the court.
Pro Lacrosse Talk: What is your favorite spot to vacation?
Sam Apuzzo: I’d probably say Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. I haven’t gone a while, but it was a family vacation every year we drive down there.
Pro Lacrosse Talk: What is your favorite meal and do you prefer to dine out, take out or cook at home?
Sam Apuzzo: I’m a big breakfast person, so it would probably be chocolate chip pancakes. And I definitely prefer to dine out and go to a diner or something like that. There are also so many good bagel spots [on Long Island.] So, any kind of diner there is really good.
Pro Lacrosse Talk: What’s a podcast, movie, book or TV show that you’ve been binging?
Sam Apuzzo: I just finished the Undoing on HBO. It’s really good.
Pro Lacrosse Talk: What is some advice that you have for young player looking to one day play lacrosse professionally?
Sam Apuzzo: I would just say, keep that competitive edge. Whenever you have an opportunity to get better, get out there and go. There’s always people working hard, just as hard as you, so no matter whether you’re just going out and shooting or doing wall ball, or even just watching a game or some film, make sure you’re using that time and that energy to get better. And focus on making yourself an elite athlete because there are so many players out there now, especially at a younger age. So, be able to really push yourself and get to that next level.
You can hear more from Sam Apuzzo on the Pro Lacrosse Talk podcast.