Playing lacrosse at the college level was a long-time dream for Peter Adorno. Making the playoffs was icing on the cake.

Adorno, 20, a 2013 Seaford High School graduate, has been a member of the mens’ lacrosse team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for the past three years. In the fall, he begins his senior season after participating in the NCAA tournament this spring.

RPI won its Liberty League semifinal games at St. Lawrence University on May 6, before dropping the league championship game two days later to No. 2-ranked Rochester Institute of Technology. Still, the Engineers’ 13-5 season record was enough to earn it berth in the NCAA tournament.

The team drew Amherst in a home game on May 11, which Amherst won 16-11. “The game was back and forth,” Adorno said, adding that despite the loss, the chance to play in the tournament was an awesome experience. “That was my first time getting a bid to the tournament. It was such a crazy atmosphere.”

Adorno plays defense and, at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, said he is typically matched up against the bigger defenders on opposing teams. He also is frequently on the field when his team has to kill a penalty.

With two senior defensemen having just graduated, Adorno said he will be looked to as a leader next year. It’s a role he said he plans to take seriously, and wants to serve as an example for the younger classmen.

Adorno started playing lacrosse in third grade with the Wantagh/Seaford PAL. His father, Bob, was his coach and now is the coordinator of the PAL lacrosse league. Adorno played most of his games at the Seaford Harbor School and Seaman’s Neck Park. In high school, he played for four years, including three on varsity.

A three-sport athlete in high school including football and basketball, Adorno said lacrosse has appealed to him the most. He likes that the game uses a lot of offensive and defensive schemes, and is also physical.

With his mind set on playing college lacrosse, Adorno was also recruited for football. He never made it past the preseason, as he suffered a torn labrum before the first game. His options were surgery or physical therapy. He chose the latter, knowing that he could rehabilitate his shoulder in time to play lacrosse in the spring.

He said lacrosse takes up 24 to 28 hours per week, in addition to his class schedule. Adorno explained that he has had to master time management because he wants to succeed both in the classroom and on the field. “Everyone in the Athletic Department knows its school and sports,” he said. “It’s not one or the other.”

Adorno said he chose RPI not only for its lacrosse program, but also for the academics, as it is one of the top engineering schools in the country. He is an aeronautical engineering major, and this summer is doing an internship in Troy, N.Y., where his school is located, with a company that designs fishing poles.

“I can’t really stay away from the beach for too long,” he said, “so I’ll probably be home every weekend.”

When he is home, he spends time with his younger brothers, Patrick, a seventh-grader, and Peyton, a fifth-grader. They also play lacrosse, and Adorno said he helps them improve their skills. “It’s tough being away at school because I don’t get to coach them as much as I’d like to,” he said, adding that he often talks with his brothers after their games. “They take it to heart when I tell them what to work on.”

That advice comes from someone who not only plays lacrosse at the college level, but has played for a winning team.

Article written by Andrew Hackmack of the Seaford Herald