College signing ceremonies don’t always go in threes, but lacrosse players Alex Beebe, Ashley Burns and Jane DiGregorio wouldn’t have it any other way.
The three Mattituck High School seniors are close friends, have risen through the ranks together and played on the same teams for years, so it seemed only natural to them. Why not put pen to paper and sign their national letters of intent together at the same time and place?
That’s what the threesome did Monday when they confirmed their commitments during a ceremony presided over by athletic director Gregg Wormuth in front of the Mattituck High School trophy case. Beebe is headed to NCAA Division II champion Adelphi while Burns (Wagner) and DiGregorio (Davidson in North Carolina) both signed on with Division I teams.
All three players have been starters since they were freshmen, the same year Matt Maloney took over as Mattituck/Southold’s coach.
“It means a lot to all of us to do it together,” said Burns. The All-League defender continued, “We all wanted to do it together because we’ve always been together since the beginning so we just had to sign together because it was like our final farewell.”
DiGregorio, an All-County midfielder, said: “I couldn’t imagine it without them. It was so important to have them there because we’ve been through everything together.”
That included an historic 2017 season for Mattituck, which reached the New York State Class C semifinals for the first time and went 14-5. Monday’s signings can be seen as another measure of the growing program’s success.
“It’s a really happy day for Mattituck lacrosse, but also for these individuals,” Maloney said. “When one or two players are not having their best game, our team can still be successful because we have a bunch of lacrosse players, girls that just eat, breathe and sleep lacrosse. Yeah, they play other sports here, this being a small district, but lacrosse is their number one.”
A fourth Mattituck player, senior midfielder Chelsea Marlborough, is expected to sign for a college in the near future.
Beebe, who made Newsday’s All-Long Island first team and was Mattituck’s defensive MVP last season, had considered other colleges like Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac and LeMoyne, but she was sold on Adelphi the first time she visited the school in Garden City. “Once I went on Adelphi’s campus, I knew it was the one,” she said.
Joining a national champion team is an attraction in itself. The Panthers went 21-1 last season, securing their eighth national championship.
“That’s the really exciting part, that I get to play at the next level and hopefully win a national championship because they are national champs,” said Beebe.
Burns, meanwhile, expects to find a little bit of Mattituck when she goes to Wagner, which is located on Staten Island. Although one of the five New York City burroughs, Staten Island can offer a surprisingly rural feel. That’s what attracted Burns to Wagner.
“It reminded me a lot of Mattituck and I just wanted that same hometown feeling,” she said. “It’s just like it’s own little town.”
Similarly, DiGregorio said she knew Davidson was the right place for her the first time she visited the college. “When I went to the school, everything was right,” she said. “I loved the lacrosse and then I had to look into the academic part of it and that was just perfect, too. It was a no-brainer.”
With parents, coaches, school officials and students looking on, the three Tuckers scribbled their signatures. When it was over, they were treated to a rousing wave of applause.
All three acknowledged there was happiness and sadness on this day. Following one final season this coming spring with the Tuckers, the three will go their separate ways.
“It’s so overwhelming,” Burns said. “It’s like you’re signing off your future.”
Maloney didn’t want to look too far into the future, though. He knows those three still have another season left together with the Tuckers. He said, “That’s going to be great when they go to college, but we have one more year together so we can’t wait for the spring to come.”
Photo caption: From left, Mattituck/Southold seniors Ashley Burns, Alex Beebe and Jane DiGregorio signed national letters of intent for colleges Monday at Mattituck High School. (Credit: Nicole Smith)