September 6, 2007

10 Questions with Field Hockey's Alyssa DePaola

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1. I’ve done quite a bit of research on you, so this should be interesting. How did you get into playing field hockey?
I actually started in sixth grade because my gym teacher was the coach and she asked me to try out for the team. That was basically it.No one in my family had ever really played sports, but she asked me and I was like, alright, I’ll try it. And so it began.
And you lived happily ever after. But it’s a pretty savage sport …
It is.
I would go so far as to say it’s the most violent women’s sport since roller derby, if I may say that. Did that play any role in why you play the game?
No, but I’ve got to say, I enjoy it.
You enjoy it?
I do. I mean, you get a little physical, why not?
[Laughing] Have you ever had the instinct to take a stick to someone’s jugular?
You know, I haven’t.
Has that ever even happened?
No, unfortunately, not that I’ve seen, but I guess it’s possible.
What’s the most violent thing that has happened to you?
Well, last year I actually got kicked in the head by the goalie. Me and another forward, Brenna Gulotta were both running towards the goal and the goalie came out and took us out. So we’re both on the ground and Brenna was on top of me …
[Interrupting] She was on top of you?
[Laughing] She was, and the goalie almost [was] too, quite a commotion.
So it was almost a threesome at this point?
If you will, yes, it was a little crazy. So they both get up and I am on the bottom [laughing] and I guess someone hit the ball back in and she tried to kick it and basically kicked me in the side of my head.
[Laughing] That’s not right.
No, I got a concussion.

2. You’re from the Jersey Shore. I didn’t know people lived there year round …
I do, it gets such a bad reputation, but it’s great.
Hey, I’m from New Jersey so I understand.
You do! Do you know Wall?
Absolutely not. I have a buddy who has a house at Seaside Heights though.
Really? That’s like 20-25 minutes from me. See you can’t judge the Jersey Shore from Seaside, that’s like trash.
I would agree.
Those people are trash. They just come down to the Jersey Shore and aren’t really from there.
Are you calling my buddy trash?
[Laughing] No, I’m just all about the Jersey Shore. You would like it if you came.
I do come; I just told you I did.
Yeah, but that’s Seaside.
Oh so, Wall is just this huge party?
It really is.

3. Anyways, let’s go to your team. Last year you fell off a little bit, but you guys are off to a 2-0 start this year. What are your predictions for the 2007 season?
Well, last year we started off winning a lot of games in the beginning, too, so we’re really just trying to take it one game at a time.
I’ve never heard that before.
[Laughing] I’m sure. But no seriously, I think we got a little ahead of ourselves last year and we kind of had a bad run.
Too cocky, huh?
I wouldn’t say too cocky, just a little overconfident.
Are you going to have an undefeated season?
I mean, I would love an undefeated season, but I can’t predict that.
Too bold? You were the team’s Offensive Rookie of the Year as a freshman, can you guarantee that [an undefeated season] at least?
No, I can’t!
Why not?
Because we have a lot of good freshmen this year, and I just can’t predict that stuff. It could be any one of us [on offense] if you look at this weekend there were four of us who scored. So we got a lot of team effort going on.
Another phrase I’ve never heard before.

4. It says on the Cornell website that you have excellent stick skills. Care to comment on that?
[Laughing] Well clearly, it’s all part of the game.
It’s all part of the game? Wow, that’s a great answer.
I mean, if you want to succeed you have to have good stick skills.
[Laughing] I apologize in advance, but I’m going to ask it. What’s the biggest stick you’ve handled?
Well, actually in high school, my coach said that I had to play with the smallest stick possible, so she made me play with a 35 [inch stick]; which is pretty short.
35? Pretty short? I think that’s kind of big.
Not for field hockey purposes; I don’t know what you’re talking about.
[Laughing] Me neither.
But then I came to college and coach made me play with a 36, and now I’ve moved up to a 37.
Ohhhh, wow. Is that ideal?
It’s ideal for me, some girls go a little bigger, there’s a couple 38s out there.
That’s very upsetting for me at this point.
Yeah you should probably work on that.
[Laughing] I can’t. [Laughing] I think I’m going to have to edit out this entire question.

5. You are a fine arts major. I think I speak for a lot of people on this campus when I ask: what the hell does that mean?
Well, I’m a painting a photography double concentration. So I paint…and take photographs … It’s great.
Is there any legitimate schoolwork involved whatsoever?
Well, actually I’m attempting to get a business minor as well, so I’m taking real classes. I took financial accounting, econ, business and I’m taking psych. Real classes with real work.
Those are real classes, interesting. So then could you tell me what art is?
What is art?
In three syllables or less.
[Laughing] That’s difficult.
I’m just messing with you, you don’t have to answer.
Well, I guess everyone has their own outlet to express themselves. You like to write and I like to take pictures.
How do you know that?

6. In doing some research for this interview, I happened to stumble across your personal website []. What is that all about?
My personal website? Ohhh [laughing], I had to make that for a class.
Well, I got that impression because it looks straight out of the Blair Witch Project.
[Laughing] No! The funny thing is that a lot of the art that I do, a lot of people say it’s very intense.
Yes, I would say that.
You haven’t even seen all of it yet. I’m working on some new projects that are pretty insane, you don’t even know.
I believe you.
I don’t know, that’s just kind of the work that I do.
Are you trying to sketch everyone out as much as possible?
I mean, I might have been, I’m a little sketchy.
Because I’m not going to lie to you, I’m not a big scary movie fan; I’m more or less a little girl. And when I saw your website, I had some serious nightmares.
Really, about what?
About your website! It terrified me. I mean there’s a dude with a molester moustache with some weird lighting in one of the pictures.
No, there wasn’t?
I swear to you there was.
[Laughing] Oh, that was my dad.
Ha, well he has a molester moustache if that’s your dad.
[Laughing] My dad is not a molester.
I’m just saying there is a lot of crazy stuff on there.
I would agree with that, you’ve got to keep it new and different you know?
I guess so.

7. Along those lines, I also saw a certain facebook group that you were in, can you tell the readers what that group is called?
Oh my god.
Why are you so embarrassed?
I’m not embarrassed; it’s a part of my life.
So, what exactly is this group called again?
I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Well it wouldn’t even be in The Sun anyways, you could just say it for the tape recorder. Maybe something along the lines of “Alyssa Depaola likes it in …” [Drops take recorder]
[Laughing] Oh, that one. Did you see the picture too?
Oh yeah, and it is just you being a little too ridiculous even for 10 Questions. How did this happen?
Well, my one friend had this idea about certain [cough] preferences of mine that she chose to exploit across facebook. So it stemmed from there. The picture came from one of the road trips we took as freshmen and we often took cameras out with us. I have this thing where I tend to make very weird faces for pictures, and that just happened to be one of my finer portraits.
What exactly happened on these road trips, that maybe some people should be aware of?
Well, you know, we roomed together, played games, ate meals together. Wined and dined, if you will, without the wine…
I see, are you a member of this group?
[Laughing] I might be.
So one last question on this topic. Does 2 + 2=4? If you know what I mean.
It might.
It might!
I’m going to say yes, is that O.K.?
Of course, that is the right answer.

8. Question number eight. Who is Patty?
[Stunned] Oh no, I can’t believe this [Laughing]. Um, I have some stuffed animals and Patty is my penguin. My mom gave her to me so I named her Patty.
Awwwwww, how cute.
And Patty resides in my bed most of the time.
And where does she live when not in your bed.
[Laughing] Do you know this?
I’m just asking a simple question.
She likes to inhabit … Well I’m just going to use an analogy here. Do you know a kangaroo with a pouch?
Patty lives inside of you?
She might.
[Disgusted] How does that work?
Well she just hangs out. She’s like a part of me.
What does that mean, you tuck her into your pants? Do you go out in public like this?
Yeah, she is a part of me all the time.
This interview is getting weirder with every question. Does that mean that you had imaginary friends as a kid?
I didn’t, sadly.

9. Your friends and teammates say that you are the ugliest pretty girl they know. Why do you think that is?
Well, like I was telling you, we take all of these pictures and I make these hideous faces I guess. I don’t really know.
It just happens naturally?
Yea, it is just something I do, I guess.
Are there substances involved when these pictures are taken?
Well on occasion, but even without these alleged ‘substances’ these faces are always possible. It is just kind of a spur of the moment type thing, it just happens.
So is it always the same face?
Oh no. That’s why it’s great, because you never know what’s coming. Even I don’t know. Sometimes I look at these pictures and am like ‘wow.’
And you also like to stick peanuts up your nose?
[Laughing] I would just like to point out that the picture from the facebook group and these peanut pictures are all from the same road trip. My friend who was taking the picture just likes to exploit me. Her name is Shannon, she’s our goalkeeper; she’s great.
But I don’t follow, what would compel you to do this?
Well if you have a big thing of peanuts in front of you and you’re at a public place, why not? It just comes naturally.
[Laughing] I get the impression that you are impulsive.
[Laughing] Yeah a little bit. Just slightly.

10. I’m going break tradition and reverse the last question this time. As you might know, there has been a lot of hoopla about your junior field hockey class. Are you guys the hottest team at Cornell?
Absolutely. You like that?
I love it, great diction.
Right. So, the gentlemen have taken quite an interest in you all. Probably – and I’m just posturing here – because you are all really good at field hockey and I guess can handle sticks well. Are you the hottest team?
I would say definitely. Have you seen the field hockey team?
I have, I used to cover the field hockey team as a sophomore.
And what did you think?
I mean it’s hard to tell when you all have mouth-guards in and are whacking the hell out of those balls.
That’s true. But we wear skirts; what other team do you know that wears skirts?

But they’re long skirts.
What about the spandex?
Let me say this much, you should proposition your coach to wear miniskirts …
[Interrupts] With nothing underneath
Well, I don’t know about that, that’s your prerogative not mine.
I’m all about the spandex underneath. But I’ll ask her, I’ll tell her Lance wants that. And then maybe we’ll get more fans too.
Exactly. All that I am saying is that it will increase the fan base and that motivation will compel the field hockey team to an Ivy League championship and possibly even a national championship!
That would be amazing.