Olivia Manghisi becoming Howell’s best in girls lacrosse By John Sorce


HOWELL 165 goals. 59 assists. 224 points. 


That’s the career stat line for Howell’s Olivia Manghisi. Those are all program records. And she is only a junior. 

She was noticed by Howell head coach Chelsea Lynch as an eighth grader playing T3 Lacrosse, which is a lacrosse program outside of school that is dedicated to helping players reach their full potential. Lynch was coaching a different team, but this is when she noticed Manghisi was different. 

“Her skills, quickness and ability to stay calm under pressure jumped out, and since then she has really grown and blossomed into an outstanding varsity player and an outstanding competitor,” said Lynch, who is coaching Manghisi for the first time this season as she was the freshman coach the last seven years. “Her stick skills were just above and beyond. She stood out from everyone on her team because T3 goes by grades. But her quickness, abilities and her field vision really stood out, even then.” 

Manghisi was an attacker for her first two seasons. As a freshman, she scored 66 points (52 goals, 14 assists) and as a sophomore, she scored 78 points (58 goals, 20 assists) while eclipsing the 100 career goal mark. 

This year, she has made the transition to mid-fielder, but her offensive impact has not changed a bit. Manghisi has 80 points (55 goals, 25 assists) this season. She blew past the program’s previous career points leader, which was 179 points, and goal scorer, which was 120 goals, and still has another season to go. 

“She has grown as a player and as an absolute presence on the field,” Lynch said. “She is now a major part of our defense and midfield transition in addition to still being our leading scorer in goals and assists. She is an absolute powerhouse on offense, but allowing her to play midfield really opened up her skills to develop and be a presence all over instead of just being a force offensively. It has been fun to watch her develop in that role and really integrate herself into every aspect of the game.” 

Manghisi is verbally committed to Florida Southern in Lakeland, FL, a Division II program. The Moccasins recently won their fourth straight Sunshine State Conference Tournament title. They are also 2016 National Champions and 2017 National Runner-Up. 

“She doesn’t let the hype get to her,” Lynch said. “She has an ability to stay cool, calm and collected on the field, even when it gets chaotic. She has great sportsmanship and another thing that sets her apart is that some of these elite athletes sometimes start to take the sport too seriously when they feel the pressure of having to live up to the name they’ve created. 

The refreshing thing about Olivia is she is always having fun with her friends on the field. She still has a complete passion for the game of lacrosse. She hasn’t lost that innocence. Sometimes you see a player that is a phenomenal athlete but they are too serious with what they are doing. Olivia really has kept that priority of passion and fun at the forefront of her success, which allows her to continue to be successful.” 


Sometimes, when a player is as talented as Manghisi, they are more focused on themselves rather than the team. But that is far from the case and her teammates think the world of her. 

“Her teammates think very highly of her,” Lynch said. “She is a true teammate. Even though she gets a lot of attention, she has an extremely humble nature and she is never selfish. I think what is very unique with Olivia is her teammates completely trust her, and that speaks volumes. They never have to worry about her wanting to pad her own stats. She always does what is best for the team. She is a role model to them in a lot of ways and I think also because they see someone so successful, but they see that she still has fun and has a great sense of humor and a great personality. She’s just a great kid.” 

 Manghisi is already the best player in the history of Howell girls lacrosse, and she is still going through her junior season. When all is said and done after next season, you could be looking at one of the best to ever play in the Shore Conference. 

“She’s an all-around great athlete who also really loves the sport she plays,” Lynch said. “She’s an all-star but has a very humble nature, which allows her to be respected by her teammates, coaches and opponents. She displays great sportsmanship she’s a great kid and I’m lucky to be able to coach her.” 

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