North Salem senior Paige Werlau plays both lacrosse and soccer for the Tigers. She has committed to the University at Albany to play lacrosse.
How old were you when you first started playing soccer and how did you get started? What about lacrosse?
I started playing soccer at an age of 5 years old and I started playing lacrosse at the age of 8 years old. My family is very into sports, my mom especially. She played college soccer at Cortland and she’s very dedicated to what she does. She has been my soccer and lacrosse coach all throughout my childhood and will continue to be until I graduate high school. My mom and dad are the two reasons as to why I began playing these two sports and am the player I am today.
How did you feel about the soccer team’s performance this past season?
This past season was definitely different from my past two years on varsity soccer. It took us a while to get to know each other’s abilities; the strengths and weaknesses of each other. We lost 12 seniors this past year, 10 of which were included on the starting lineup. It was almost as though we were playing with a brand new team. Even though we had a rough start, we managed to pull through and make it to sectionals to play against our favorite team, Haldane.
What are your expectations for the upcoming girls lacrosse season?
I think we have the ability to be one of the top teams in Section 1. Many of the girls play summer ball which will have a huge impact on the team this year. I know our goalie has been working really hard this past summer and fall and it is definitely going to show this upcoming season. This year’s team will be one of the most experienced teams we’ve had in awhile. As well the varsity coach has a lot of experience in coaching and is awesome in what she does.
What is your favorite team activity, pre-game or post-game ritual that you share with your teammates in either soccer or lax?
For the past two years in lacrosse we have had Lacrosse Olympics. The varsity team splits into two teams, each picking their category of interest to dress as. It allows us to get creative with our costumes and to have a day of fun. Even though we do it not too long before sectionals, it’s a great team bonding experience and gets all the stress of sectionals off our mind.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
My older brother, Christian. I’m very competitive when it comes to sports and he’s always been the most athletic of the family. He always showed me that you have to work really hard in order to succeed and be the player you strive to be. During his high school and college career he has had many injuries, though never using them as an excuse to give up, teaching me to be tough and not let anything beat me down.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
People always get confused when friends and family call me “Ging.” In fact, my hair color is actually strawberry blond and I inherited this unique trait from my grandfather, Harold.
You’ve committed to play lacrosse at the University at Albany. Why did you select Albany and what appealed to you about the school and their lacrosse program?
I have always dreamed of playing on a top 20 team in the country and when I was offered the opportunity to play at such an established and competitive program, I could not say no. I’ve heard nothing but great things about kids’ experience at the university and on the lacrosse team. Albany is not far from home and I wanted to have the ability to see my family often and have them see me play.
Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?
As of now, I would like to study digital forensics in college. Albany is one of the few schools that has this major. I think it would be really cool to be a forensic scientist and being able to use our new technology for this occupation is really cool.
Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?
My favorite professional athlete is JoJo Marasco. He went from just a boy who lived in Somers to an unreal lacrosse player playing at a high, competitive level. He had the ability to play lacrosse at Syracuse University and proceeded to play on the New York Lizards and the USA Men’s National Team. Though he has yet to follow me on Instagram, he is still my favorite pro athlete. My favorite sports team is the New York Rangers and the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team.
What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?
Country music, specifically the Zac Brown Band. It’s relaxing and I can sing along with it.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
It would be to have the ability to freeze time. I could potentially stop bad things from happening.
If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?
I would love to visit Africa. My favorite animal is an ostrich. Though they are vicious, I would love to see one in person. I’ve always dreamed of going on a safari ride and being able to experience that would be amazing.
What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?
Before a game I love to eat a peanut butter and jelly with oreo cookies as a snack.
Best place to eat in North Salem and why?
The best place to eat in North Salem is Primavera. They have the best linguini with white clam sauce (my favorite meal). I highly suggest taking a night out to Primavera with your special someone. All of the employees are friendly, kind people.
Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Why?
Instagram, duh. It allows you to see what your friends have been up to and updates you on what is going on around the world in picture form. I can also see what my favorite athletes JoJo Marasco and Shaun White are doing with their lovely lives.
For a young athlete growing up in North Salem, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the soccer and lacrosse programs and why should they go out for the team?
A sports team is not for you to just to play a sport but to help you create memories and long-time friends. Playing soccer and lacrosse has allowed me to become friends with all the people I spend the most time with today. If I could give any advice to the young athletes, even if your best friend isn’t playing the sport, I highly suggest sticking with it. The coaching staff here at North Salem, as well as the fans, are amazing and you will only create unforgettable memories and long lasting friends.