September 20, 2007

DePaola Reflects on Her Road to Success

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For most high school athletes, the college recruitment process can often be a stressful and daunting task.
Just ask junior attacker Alyssa DePaola.
“[The recruiting process] was hard for me because I was pretty much the only athlete that has really gone through it in my family,” DePaola said. “It was also really tough for me because I wasn’t 100 percent sure whether I wanted to play or not and I didn’t actively put myself out there for a lot of other schools. Even when I got contacted by people, it’s hard to decide what you want to do, where you want to go, and to tell schools you’re not interested in them. It’s a difficult process, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.”
DePaola, 10th all time in Cornell history for goals scored, required some persuasion to first set foot on the field.
“In fifth grade, we had to run the mile test, and I just happened to do well on it. I got along with [my gym teacher] and she was the coach for the middle school team. She said I should come try out and I guess I just happened to be good at it.”
DePaola also participated on her high school lacrosse team, but devoted the majority of her time to field hockey.
“Basically, I played on my high school [field hockey] team, a club team, and for Futures, a program that helps for recruiting” DePaola said. “And for the club team, there is usually a huge festival either in California or Florida every year and it’s a huge recruiting event. I saw coach Hornibrook there. … I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted to play in college. I am an art major and I was kind of looking at some art schools, but then I just got contacted by a bunch of schools. So then I was like, ‘I guess I’ll look into it,’ and I came up to Cornell and they had a great program and I just liked the coach and the team.”
DePaola did receive another tempting offer from a rival Ivy League institution.
“I was recruited by Brown and that was pretty much the only other Ivy that recruited me” DePaola said. “I was actually really interested in going there because it’s in Providence and right next to the Rhode Island School of Design, so it was really tough for me to decide. It came down pretty much to Brown, Boston College and here for me. I just came here and everything just really worked out. I like everything about it.”
Believe it or not, it was not the impeccable weather, mild winters or cultural opportunities of Ithaca, N.Y. that attracted DePaola’s attention.
“I got along the best with the coaches here and everyone I met with here in the program was great,” DePaola said. “Everything I needed was here. At Brown it would have been really difficult to take classes at Rhode Island School of Design. They just weren’t as attentive to everything I needed. The Brown coach was supposed to come to one of my games and just completely stood me up and just sent me an email after the fact. She said she had ‘a scheduling conflict.’ That definitely turned me off to that program.
However, Cornell is certainly pleased to have the former two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week and team offensive MVP contributing to its squad.