Cape, Scarborough athletes sign NLIs

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Scarborough senior Jessica Rinaldi, joined by her parents, Sam and Lynne, and her sister, Sarah, signs her National Letter of Intent Monday afternoon to attend and play soccer at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Cape Elizabeth senior Olivia Tighe, joined by her coach, Ben Raymond, teammates and family, signs her National Letter of Intent Monday morning to attend and swim at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Cape Elizabeth senior soccer standout Prezli Piscopo, joined by her parents, Gary and Missy, her brother, Kyle, teammates and coaches, signs her National Letter of Intent Tuesday afternoon to attend and play soccer at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire.

A trio of Forecaster Country standouts signed National Letters of Intent earlier this week.

Scarborough senior Jessica Rinaldi, a key cog on a girls’ soccer team which has reached the past two Class A state finals, signed her NLI Monday to attend and play soccer at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

“It’s a big weight off my shoulders,” said Rinaldi, who was joined by family members and many teammates. “At first, I was looking at a lot of big schools, but once I found Bryant, I found it was intimate and I felt a connection there.”

Rinaldi, who plans on studying some combination of business, forensic science and pre-law, will play goalie in college, even though she’s been a defensive midfielder the past three years with the Red Storm.

“I was always a goalkeeper, but when I came to high school, I started playing midfield,” Rinaldi said. “Everyone has been so supportive. My teammates are like sisters.”

“(Jessica) covered all the ground,” said Scarborough coach Mike Farley. “She could have easily played goalie for us and been the best in the state, but she won all kinds of awards as a midfielder. (Bryant coach) Andy (Biggs) is the best coach I’ve ever had and he makes you want to run through a wall for him. They’re lucky to get (Jessica) and she’s lucky to be going there.”

Also on Monday, just a few miles away, Cape Elizabeth’s standout, state champion swimmer Olivia Tighe, committed to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Tighe, a multiple-champion in several different disciplines, has led the Capers to the past two Class B state titles. She received interest from a number of schools across the country, but ultimately went with her instinct and decided to become a Blue Devll.

“It’s so exciting,” Tighe said. “I had one call last spring with Duke and afterwards, I just had a gut feeling that’s where I would continue to swim. I knew it would be right. They have a very strong program. My 100 freestyle and sprint freestyle and sprint butterfly are what I’ve been recruited for.”

Tighe, who is undecided on a major, is looking forward to one more season of swimming at the high school level.

“I’ve been able to explore so many other opportunities swimming in Maine,” Tighe said. “It’s been amazing swimming all the different events. I think it’s important to be well-rounded. I’m lucky to have had success and fun. I’m looking forward to one more fun year. I’d love to win (states) again.”

Tuesday afternoon, at Cape Elizabeth, soccer star Prezli Piscopo, fresh off leading the Capers to a Class B state championship earlier this month, signed her NLI to attend at play soccer at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“It’s very exciting because playing soccer in college has been a dream of mine,” said Piscopo, who is undecided on a major at this juncture. “I’m excited I get four more years of playing my favorite sport. I wouldn’t be here without the help and support of my coaches, teammates and family. We’ve had a blast. It means the world to me for them to be here (today). Ever since I first visited the campus, I knew it was perfect for me.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.