Field hockey star Carli Ciocco (‘19) commits to Appalachian State University


Courtesy of Carli Ciocco ('19)

Ciocco (’19) gets in position to strike the ball.

Ever since the fifth grade, Carli Ciocco (‘19) has had a knack for field hockey. She knew that if she could work hard, it would pay off in the long run. Once she got to Cherry Hill East, her passion and talent for field hockey shined bright on the field, which ultimately led her to a scholarship opportunity. Early in her senior year, Ciocco committed to Appalachian State University to play Division I field hockey.

Ciocco has her father to thank for introducing her to the sport she adores. When she was younger, she focused on softball as her sport of choice. However, instead of signing her up for Fall Ball, Ciocco’s father forced her to play field hockey.

“My dad told me he wanted me to try field hockey instead of playing Fall Ball… so he signed me up and forced me to play, and I just fell in love with it,” said Ciocco.

Ciocco’s main goal was to make an impact for East on the forward line as soon as she could. Her grit and determination for her first three years on the team granted her the position of captain for her senior year, along with Sarah Allen (‘19) and Chloe Garber (‘19). Allen, one of Ciocco’s best friends, was extremely proud of Ciocco upon the news of her commitment. She commended Ciocco on her leadership abilities on and of the field

“Off the field, Carli definitely leads by example. She’s very respectful and puts everyone before herself, which I think influences a lot of people,” said Allen.

Ciocco’s leadership has led her to win many awards. She was First and Second Team All Olympic Conference, a prestigious award that not many players can say they have won. She also won the Offensive MVP award for the East program.

Through the recruitment process, Ciocco was able to meet a lot of people, including other players and college level coaches. She played in clinics and camps in front of college coaches. Her club team, South Jersey Edge, would play in tournaments as close as Pennsylvania and as far away as Florida in hopes of exposure to Division I programs. She loves her teammates and feels they are like a second family to her.

“It’s always a fun time playing with them. We always try our best to win and are super competitive,” said Ciocco.

Ciocco had a few other choices in addition to Appalachian State. Since the eighth grade, she has been recruited. Schools such as Monmouth University, Rider University and Wagner University also expressed interest in Ciocco, but she had an affinity towards Appalachian State.

“I chose App State because the girls there are super nice and really fun. The coaches are so sweet and I really loved the location,” said Ciocco.

Located in Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian State offers breathtaking views over the mountains. From the field hockey field, you can see all of the mountains, which was a huge selling point for Ciocco.

“When I went there for a day clinic, I got to see where their field was and I fell in love with it because it was on top of a mountain and looking out on the mountains was so pretty,” said Ciocco.

Although the recruitment process was extremely stressful, Ciocco said, it was a cool experience and one she is glad to be finished with. Her commitment to college will not stop her from working hard for the Cougars this season, as she has many goals she would like to achieve. She wants to win a lot more games this season, a very reasonable goal, considering the strength of the upperclassmen on the team this season. She also wants to personally score more goals.

“I want to try and make this year as fun as possible because it’s senior year and it has been one of my favorite years playing so far,” said Ciocco.

Ciocco’s passion for field hockey allows her to participate in her favorite sport with some of her best friends. She loves to run, which is crucial for being a forward. The excitement that she gets after a team win or after she scores a goal is indescribable. Field hockey is a sport that involves  a lot of thinking, but Ciocco loves to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together and win games for the Cougars.

“I love the feeling after I score a goal because it gives me a rush,” said Ciocco.

Although Ciocco may be taking off the red and white East uniform, she can’t wait to trade it in for the black and gold Mountaineers uniform.