“Slippery Rock goal scored by number 23, Tia Torchia,” is often heard over the loudspeaker at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium for lacrosse home games. In the month of April, Torchia scored 22 goals and had two assists while also controlling 38 draws in 10 games to win The Rocket’s Athlete of the Month.
Torchia, a redshirt sophomore, hails from Seton- La Salle High School in Pittsburgh and came to Slippery Rock for various reasons. “I was just looking for somewhere that was far enough from home, but not too far from home, and this was the perfect place,” Torchia said.
Torchia also mentioned that her recruiting visit to The Rock helped make her decision. “For my recruiting visit, I stayed with my best friends now, so it was a really good experience, and after that night I just wanted to come here,” Torchia said.
Torchia, an Early Education and Special Education major, has been a two-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Scholar Athlete while at Slippery Rock. “Academics is something that is definitely really big in my family. I am proud of that, and grades are really important, “Torchia said.
Lacrosse head Coach Emily Hopkins thinks Torchia has been a huge asset to the team this year. “She’s a goal scored, big on the draw, has a lot of caused turnovers, and was really our most experienced midfielder,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins said the strongest part of Torchia’s game is her speed. “She has a lot of speed and is pretty tenacious and is a tough game player,” Hopkins said.
Although not listed as a team captain, Hopkins says Torchia leads by her work ethic and example. “She is always going hard, very fiery, wants to win every game, and there is not a game that she doesn’t show up for,” Hopkins said.
In 21 games prior to this season, Torchia had 15 goals and six assists, as well as 62 draw controls. This season, Torchia finished with 38 goals including a five-goal game against Gannon and three assists and added 65 draw controls. The 38 goals helped lead the team to their first ever playoff birth, and Torchia was thrilled with the team’s contributions this year.
“It’s a good feeling leading the team in goals, it has a lot to do with the team,” Torchia said. “We have so many goal scorers on the team and people that know how to play, that makes it so much easier than it has been in the past couple of years.”
Torchia said she spent most of the offseason working on stick skills and said, “it’s one of the most important things.” Torchia also mentioned that draw control is also a part to her game, “draw control is a huge part of the game, if you’re not winning draw controls, you are not getting the ball down to your side of field as much.”
After making the playoffs this year, Torchia expects similar results for next year. “We are expecting to go back to playoffs. Making it this year and not next year would be kind of tough.”
With Torchia and her 38 goals and 65 draw controls returning to lead the charge next year, Slippery Rock is in a good place to make playoff trip number two.