Lacrosse standout Erin Smith's NYIT athletics career on course to continue on cross country squad

Lacrosse standout Erin Smith's NYIT athletics career on course to continue on cross country squad

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — Erin Smith's NYIT athletics career did not end in the NCAA Tournament with the women's lacrosse team on May 12 in Syracuse.

After playing four years of intercollegiate lacrosse, Smith plans to remain at NYIT and compete in cross country in the fall.

"A lot of cross country focuses on long distance, whereas lacrosse is a lot of short sprints," Smith said. "So at the end of the race if I need to pass another runner, I'll be able to dig down deep to find that last sprint, like during a game."

Smith has a decorated lacrosse résumé. The Wantagh native was named second-team All-American, first-team All-Region, East Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-ECC for her contribution during the Bears' inaugural season. She started all 19 games and had 41 ground balls, 35 draw controls and 25 caused turnovers.

Smith was one of a wave of student-athletes who joined NYIT after Dowling College ceased operations a year ago.

At Dowling, she ran cross country her sophomore and junior seasons, but opted to focus on lacrosse upon enrolling at NYIT.

This will not be the first time a star athlete has found her way to NYIT's cross country squad after her four years of eligibility had been exhausted in her primary sport.

Dina Ragab, a former four-year standout for the NYT women's basketball team, successfully transitioned to cross country as a graduate student last fall. Ragab is the all-time leading scorer in NYIT women's basketball history with 1,565 points. As a member of the cross country team, she was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team for 2016-17 and posted the 16th fastest-time in NYIT women's 5K history.

"Cross country is a lot different than any other sport that I've done," said Smith, who lettered in lacrosse, soccer and basketball in high school. "In cross country, it's more individual, so I'm looking forward to seeing how well I can do from race to race to push myself."