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Lakeland's Bozek commits to North Carolina

SHRUB OAK, N.Y. -- Once Emma Bozek walked onto the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, the Lakeland senior had made up her mind. Bozek, one of Section 1’s elite players, along with teammate Shannon Scavelli, would give North Carolina field hockey coach Karen Shelton a verbal commitment to attend Chapel Hill.

It will become official when Bozek signs her national letter of intent in February. Scavelli will sign her national letter of intent to attend Michigan, also in February. Bozek and Scavelli, who are the most explosive offensive tandem in Section 1, have led Lakeland to consecutive state Class A titles.

“It had exactly what I wanted in a college,” Bozek said. “There is so much history to the school. And to be part of something like the Tar Heels, it gave me goosebumps.”

Bozek, who plans on majoring in a sports-related field, was considering the University of Connecticut, Michigan, Syracuse, New Hampshire, Princeton and Columbia. She narrowed those choices to UConn and North Carolina.

“I knew wherever I went I was going to get state-of-the-art coaching,” Bozek said. “When I got on the North Carolina campus, I got the feeling that I wanted to go to school there.”

Bozek was being recruited to New Hampshire by older sister, Megan, a sophomore, who starts on defense. “My parents would have loved to see us play again and it would have been nice to play with Megan, but she told me to stick with my gut feeling,” Bozek said. “She saw how excited I was when I went to and came home from North Carolina.”

Now that Bozek has made her college decision, she can focus on helping to bring Lakeland an unprecedented third straight state title for a Section 1 field hockey team.

“It was very stressful, every day,” said Bozek of the recruiting process. “At the same time, now you don’t want to lose focus and think you can coast right through because it’s your senior year. I want to be the best I can be and help the team and I can do it without the stress.”

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