From the lax field to the swimming pool, Pizzo demonstrates athletic power
Daniel Island resident Emma Pizzo just competed in her final athletic event as a high schooler, in a sport that you might not expect from an athlete who is arguably the best female high school lacrosse player in state history.
The event was the City Swim Meet, and the recent Bishop England graduate fared well as a member of the Daniel Island Flying Fish.
In an era when athletes focus on one sport and perhaps burn out along the way, Pizzo stayed fresh and in shape by swimming. She also was a member of the Bishop England swim team since she was an eighth-grader and has a gold medal or two to prove it.
“I swim to keep in shape,” Pizzo said. “It was a great way to keep in shape during the offseason and being a part of a swimming team means you have to be disciplined.”
Pizzo led the Bishops to three state titles in lacrosse and concludes her career as the state’s all-time leading scorer. She also concludes it as a three-time U.S. Lacrosse all-American. She was joined on the all-American team by Ava Ward, one of the most talented juniors in the state.
Pizzo said earning all-American honors for the third straight year is just as exciting as the first time she won national recognition.
“Absolutely,” she said. “I never take anything for granted and I know each year the competition gets better. It’s quite an honor, something I will remember.”
Coach Jeff Weiner will never forget his star player. The affable BE coach gets defensive when he talks about the Palmetto State’s all-time scoring machine.
“The thing that makes Emma unique is that despite the fact that she has set every offensive career record, it is her defensive play that sets her apart from other great players,” Weiner said. “She is very patient and very safe with her checks as witnessed by the fact that I believe she had only one yellow card in her career and even that one was a bad call by an inexperienced official (I have the video). Her defense will be the hardest thing for us to replace.”
Thankfully for the Bishops, Ward will be back for her senior season. She also is a multi-sport athlete who has found great success on the lacrosse field.
“Ava is an ex-basketball player who first started playing lacrosse in the eighth grade with our jayvee program,” Weiner said. “She worked hard at learning the game and due to her athleticism, she made the varsity as a ninth-grader starting on defense. She played well enough that season to earn all-Lower State defense and made the S.C. State team that went to the National Tournament. I moved her to midfield the following season and she has improved in every aspect of her game. She has the best stick skills on the team and that is saying something since most all my players are well-skilled. She performs the best in the biggest games, witnessed by her work in the last three state championships.”
Grace Ann Carlson of Bishop England made the academic All-American team.