BHS standout commits to play lacrosse at Duke

Tess Gagliano prepares for upcoming junior season

By Josh Bickford
Posted 2/10/20

Tess Gagliano is taking her game to Duke University.

Earlier this school year, Tess, a junior at Barrington High School, made a verbal commitment to play her college lacrosse at Duke, which is one …

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BHS standout commits to play lacrosse at Duke

Tess Gagliano prepares for upcoming junior season

Posted

Tess Gagliano is taking her game to Duke University.

Earlier this school year, Tess, a junior at Barrington High School, made a verbal commitment to play her college lacrosse at Duke, which is one of the premiere programs in the country.

Her decision to verbally commit to the Blue Devils came after an onslaught of interest from college coaches around the country. Tess, a standout mid-fielder for the Eagles and her club team, whittled down her official school visits to Duke, University of Pennsylvania, Loyola, Brown University and Georgetown. 

"Duke was always my number one," Tess said during a recent interview.

"Playing (Division I) lacrosse in college was always my dream… it wasn't like a job, I loved going to camps. I loved playing in tournaments… I never had a doubt in my mind. I just always loved it."

Tess has been playing lacrosse for a long time — "I've been playing since I could walk," she said.

Tess has two older sisters and one younger sister, and they all played lacrosse. The Gagliano family had lived on Long Island, NY., a hotbed for high school lacrosse, before moving to Barrington when Tess was still very young. She showed early promise and coaches from a club team in Boston noticed her abilities when they came to an East Bay Lacrosse clinic held at Barrington Middle School when Tess was in the seventh grade. 

The Boston Rev coaches tried Tess out and then offered her a spot on the team. 

"Their philosophy is fun first," Tess said.

Playing lacrosse for local teams and the club team has proven valuable for Tess, who also attends lacrosse camps throughout the year. In addition to her stick skills, Tess also believes she benefits from a good level of fitness. She said she spends most days playing sports — in addition to lacrosse, Tess has also played soccer and run for the BHS track teams and cross country team. 

For a while, she took a break from playing soccer but was drawn back to the game last fall. She said one of the high school coaches approached her prior to the start of the season and asked if she was interested in playing again. She jumped at the offer.

"My favorite part is being a part of the team," she said. 

Tess excelled for the Eagles soccer team, and she has also been key contributor for Barrington track and cross country teams. She has competed at high school nationals for indoor track during both her freshman and sophomore years. 

"Running … the ability to stay fresh and be able to run is such an important part of lacrosse," she said. "The fitness level is a huge aspect" of lacrosse.

College attention

Tess can clearly remember the day Duke came calling. 

She said she was just finishing up some summer reading on Sept. 1 — the day college coaches must wait until before contacting high school juniors. 

"It was somewhere near midnight when I got a text from an assistant coach," Tess said. "Eight hours later I was on the phone setting up a visit (to Duke)."

Tess said the Blue Devils coaching staff moved more deliberately while recruiting her. She said Duke coaches want to make sure their recruits love the school as much as they love the recruits. 

Tess visited the North Carolina campus in late September. She had been to Duke on earlier occasions for lacrosse camps, and continued to love what she saw. 

"I always knew it was my top pick," she said. 

On Oct. 15, Tess made her verbal commitment to attend Duke and play lacrosse — Duke Coach Kirsten Kimel had called and offered Tess a spot on the team. 

"I was so happy," Tess said, adding that she was happy to move past the recruiting process.

Now Tess is focused on her upcoming junior season with the Barrington High School girls lacrosse team. She said one of her goals is to help the Eagles win a state championship — one of her older sisters was on the team the last time Barrington brought home the title. 

Tess is also excited to spend this season sharing the playing field with her younger sister, Violet. She said it would be extra special if they were able to experience a championship season together. 

And while graduation from high school is still a long way off, Tess is also excited about pulling on a Duke University lacrosse uniform and taking the field for the Blue Devils. 

 

Note: The Barrington Times reached out to Coach Kimel and asked her to share some comments about Tess, but the coach said NCAA rules do not allow her to comment on Tess's commitment until she has signed her National Letter of Intent next November.

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