When Jacob Coleman got a recruiting questionnaire from the University of North Carolina at the end of 8th grade, he started flirting with the possibility of playing in college.

When Stony Brook University contacted him with serious interest this summer, things got real. All the hours he put in, working with a goalie trainer every week for the last three years, were going to pay off.

Playing for the Long Island Outlaws in the Crabfeast tournament in Maryland last June, Riverhead’s goalie, coming off his freshman season, flat-out impressed.

“I played really well,” Coleman said. “Things started happening after that.”

First it was Stony Brook. He visited, stayed overnight and really considered attending but decided that he didn’t really want to go there. Coleman decided to wait.

“I didn’t think I was going to fit in well there,” Coleman said. “I showed some interest but I wanted to see what else was out there.”

Then came the Maverik Showtime tournament, the same tournament that University of Maryland recruit Blake Carrara got serious attention.  That’s when interest exploded.

Carrara was actually with him at the camp when Coleman got the news: University of Maryland was interested.

“I’m really excited for him,” Carrara said last June. “But I’m trying to let this be his decision after remembering how stressful this was for me last year.”
But the prospect of playing together in college enticed him.

“It’d be sick,” Carrara said. “Two players from here going to a top D1 program.”
Coleman had called the coach with Carrara next to him to establish official contact and display interest. But right before he was going to visit, one of the five goalies they were interested in committed and they crossed Coleman’s name off their list.

“I was going to visit that week after calling him,” Coleman said. “But the other goalie called up the night after I called the coach and told him he was going to commit.”

“I was at the top of their list,” Coleman continued. “I don’t know, I still think I’m better than him. I’ve never even heard of the kid.”

Other schools got in the mix after that. Rutgers University, Army and Air Force were among the favorites for Coleman. And up until about a month ago, he was ready to commit to Air Force.

“I really loved it out there,” Coleman said. “But I decided to wait for other schools.”

Riverhead head coach Vic Guadagnino was in his ear the entire process, saying: “You’re going to eventually need to commit. These offers begin to go away,” as he knows full well.

“I thought Air Force was the best offer I was going to get,” Coleman said. “So I was ready to commit.”

Then about a month ago, Hofstra University contact him. And within two weeks, after a visit, they offered him a scholarship.

“I guess they didn’t really see me yet,” Coleman said of the late interest of Hofstra. “They didn’t really notice me but once they did, they seemed really interested.”

“They told me that they really love the way I play,” Coleman said. “They said that they saw me play for the last two weeks at the visit and thought I would fit perfectly in the Hofstra community.”

After two days of considering the offer, Coleman accepted, putting an end to the drama.

“I love that lacrosse is like the main sport there,” Coleman said of Hofstra. “I didn’t see many angry people around there. They were all like happy and got along. I’m excited to finally pick a school.”

Coleman is the second Riverhead goalie to commit to a college. Senior John Roca committed to Dowling College earlier this month. Guadagnino has said that he plans to play both players.

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Michael Hejmej is a freelance writer, real estate agent and native of Riverhead.