September 8, 2000

She's Got Your Back

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Julie DeMichele takes a somewhat fatalistic approach to her soccer.

“I work really hard for myself [and the team],” the junior said. “I’m not motivated for awards, I motivate myself.”

Perhaps DeMichele received her first motivation from her family. She never lacked for playmates when she was growing up in New Canaan, Connecticut. Being a quadruplet, she, her two sisters and one brother always had someone to play with.

“My parents got us involved in one of those recreational leagues when we were little and then we joined traveling teams,” she explained.

The three DeMichele sisters competed on a variety of high school athletic teams. Julie played both lacrosse and soccer, but soccer was her passion.

“You only want to take one sport and play it well,” DeMichele commented.

She entered the team as a freshman, and endured a rebuilding stage during her sophomore year. The squad acquired new coaches after her junior year. She captained as a senior, and lead the New Canaan soccer team to new heights.

“We set school records, went to counties and states,” DeMichele exclaimed. “It was the first time we had reached counties.”

All three sisters planned to pursue athletics at prestigious institutions after high school. Cornell was always a choice for them, but they went separate ways. Chrissie is on the Boston College lacrosse team. Jennifer played soccer at Brown before she transferred to Cornell this year. She plans to play basketball.

“My father always thought that the three of us would go to Cornell. But we are all very different people,” she said. “I originally thought that it was too big of a school, until I came on a recruiting trip. I knew that I wanted to come here. The size didn’t intimidate me and the campus is beautiful.”

DeMichele started her freshman year as the Red’s premiere defensive back. She has received her share of accolades at the position. She was named as an Ivy honorable mention as a freshman. Last year she repeated as an honorable mention.

“It was definitely an honor to be named. I was psyched to get it as a freshman. I didn’t think freshmen got those things,” DeMichele said.

This year the Red is exploiting DeMichele’s prowess on defense. She is entrusted with more responsibility since there will be only three backs.

The women’s soccer team changed drastically after last season. Long time contributor to the team, Berhane Andeberhan took over the coaching position and installed a new set of assistant coaches underneath him. He also announced the captains for the 2000 season. Senior, midfielder, Sarah Natchez, last year’s captain was the obvious choice. He also named DeMichele.

She started her captaincy at a tumultuous time last spring. The team was in the midst of a coaching change and Natchez went on semester abroad. It was up to DeMichele to hold captain’s practices.

“Our team was basically on our own, so I tried to get us together,” she explained. “During the spring I took the role of organizing. ”

DeMichele set up captain’s practices three times a week in order to keep the players in shape.

DeMichele emphasized her role as a quiet leader. “I try to lead by example, I’m not the one to give a motivating speech.”

But she is too reticent to give herself much credit. She has the utmost respect for Andeberhan and his staff. She also is impressed with her young but talented teammates.

“I love the coaches,” DeMichele emoted. “I think our team is great. We have chemistry and everyone is a team worker.”

This year, the team looks to improve its stance in the Ivy after finishing sixth last season. With DeMichele’s tutelage and leadership, the young team may pace the conference.

“I feel confident in our team,” she said, adding, “We’re really excited to start the season.”

Archived article by Amanda Angel