Editor’s note: Because Purpose2Play has been telling the stories of athletes, coaches, and fans for more than three years, we figure it’s about time to catch up with some of them to find out where they are now. As you’ll see, they’re still inspiring others and making the world a better place to live in.
Where Are They Now? Catching Up with Miles Moscato (One-Handed Master: Miles Moscato perfects his lacrosse game while showing others solutions to overcome physical limitations,” November, 2015)
High school junior Miles Moscato has worn many jerseys over the years but he still remembers one from his fourth grade playing days on the lacrosse fields in Maryland. It had the same name of the one that will run across his chest in the fall of 2018: Salisbury.
“I was playing rec ball and they had college names for each team, and Salisbury was my team in the fourth grade” said Moscato, who grew up in the mid-Atlantic area and plays midfield at West Linn High School in Oregon. “After that, I followed the team a lot, and lo and behold here we are.”
Moscato, who’s left hand became trapped in an amniotic band and never properly developed when he was born, committed to the Division III powerhouse in January.
He said the opportunity to play for Coach Jim Berkman was an opportunity that was too good to pass up, and that a Christmas card sent from the 11-time national champion-winning leader sealed the deal in late 2016.
“He never made me feel like a one-handed recruit,” Moscato said. “In his card, he said there was a spot for me, and I made my decision a few days later over Christmas break.”
Fittingly enough, the midfielder was running around the lacrosse field at practice when his brain told him it was the right time.
“I decided right there in the middle of practice,” he said. “It was sort of like an epiphany. I remember running over to my coach and telling him after we were done and then I went home and told my parents.”
Moscato, who looked at other Division III schools like Colby, Trinity and Amherst, along with a couple of Division I teams, said that he had always been in the direction of Salisbury — the school that was closest to where he grew up.
“Oregon’s nice,” he said. “But it’ll never be home.
“I’m excited to go back home to Maryland,” he added. “It’s somewhere where I still have a lot of friends, and that I know I feel comfortable.”
Proximity and familiarity were two important parts of the recruitment puzzle, but the junior is upfront that the decision ultimately stemmed from the school’s lacrosse pedigree and its academic reputation.
“I looked at some DI schools but I knew I didn’t want my season to end in April,” he said.
“When I visited the school in the fall of 2015, I walked around campus and I saw how much the lacrosse program meant to that school and that community. Then I walked into Coach Berkman’s office and saw all his trophies and championship pictures — there wasn’t enough room to sit down.
“It was like being part of Duke basketball and seeing Coach’s K’s office — it’s a dynasty.”
A tour of the team’s weight room and its newly-constructed stadium sold the young recruit, too.
“This is a school that’s committed to lacrosse; this is a community that loves this team and that’s an awesome feeling.”
At Salisbury, Moscato will have the opportunity to achieve a trifecta of goals — ones that he’s already gone over with Coach Berkman.
“I want to be a national champion,” he said. “And I want to be an All-American as many times as I can be, and I want to be a team captain — that’s one, two, three — for me.”
Those all fit under the umbrella of “1B” though. Moscato’s real goal is academics. He chose Salisbury because it would allow him to complete a dual degree in political science and economics.
“I wanted to make sure that academically I could craft my studies, and Salisbury agreed,” Moscato said. “That was most important.”
Learning won’t end with a double major though.
After his undergraduate degree, he plans on coaching and getting a Master’s degree — and hopefully one day a Doctorate.
“At the end of college, I want to be the best player and the best student I can be,” he said.
“While he has plans off the lacrosse field, Moscato has no intentions of leaving it any time soon.
He wants to become the first one-handed player to be play in Major League Lacrosse.
This post-college goal also influenced his decision to commit to Salisbury.
“Salisbury might be a Division III school but it has the 11th most pro players in the MLL,” he said. “It’s an insanely good group of guys.”
On The Field
Moscato, who’s closing in on 25 goals for this season, said that the sheer athleticism of collegiate lacrosse will be a challenge for him.
Learning his new coach’s complex system will be another.
However, he’s equipped to handle whatever is thrown at him — and that’s been proven on the field, and how he’s overcome playing the sport with one hand.
“Teams can’t push me left anymore,” he said. “I have twice as many goals going to my left, than I do going to my right.”
Film study and shooting practice have been integral to the maturation of his game, but physically he’s grown over the last two years.
He entered West Linn High School as a 5’10”, 150-pound freshman. As a junior, he’s grown an inch — and added 35 pounds, most of which is muscle.
“Not all of it,” he jokes.
“I want to stay quick on my feet,” Moscato said. “So it’s all about building mass in the right places.”
Taking care of himself off the field has become ritual, and the results are paying off.
West Linn is the favorite’s to win the Oregon state championship this spring.
Moscato says committing over the winter has helped free him mentally from worrying about his future.
“It’s not something you think about in middle school but when you enter high school, it comes naturally,” he said. “Salisbury has always been the top of my list so when they gave me an offer last year, I knew that’s somewhere I could see myself — playing with the best players day in and day out…
“I don’t have to worry anymore about going to camps and showcases,” he said. “All I have to focus on is getting myself better for the next step.”