Aug. 8, 2012
Senior forward Victoria DiMartino finished last season third on the team in scoring with four goals, five assists for 13 points. One of her highlights from the season was her game-winning, overtime goal in the upset win over number 11 Maryland. This season, DiMartino will be called upon for her leadership on and off the field as the women’s soccer team looks to reach the national championship game of this year’s NCAA Tournament Final Four. She sat down with BC Athletics as the team’s season gets underway.
Tell us a bit about what you have been doing this summer?
I have spent this summer here, at BC. I took some classes to get ahead, so I could have a lesser workload during the year. I also had workouts every morning. We were up at seven in the morning and I would be done by 10:30. We would lift for an hour, run for an hour, and then ice and treatment for a bit. After that I would go to my tutor, take a nap, do some homework and then go to class. Every day. It was the same thing over and over again, which was nice because I was able to get myself into a routine. At any given time I knew where I was going to be and what I was going to be doing.
Over the course of the summer leading up to the preseason what aspect of your game have you been working on improving?
I have been working on finishing with and using my right foot more. I’m a natural lefty, so one of my weaknesses is my right foot. My thinking was that if I can use both feet and score with both feet my opponent won’t know what to do to defend me. I worked a lot over the course of the summer with my right foot; a lot of repetitions on the field shooting, dribbling, handling the ball and getting used to using my right foot. It was hard because using my right foot was a completely different feeling and I always felt it wasn’t strong enough, so I would practice every day and made sure I got the practice in with my right foot.
As you enter your senior season, how will your role on the team be different than in past years?
I think people will start to look up to me. Even though I am one of the youngest seniors on the team and there are some juniors older than me, I think the other players will look at me and see what I do – go to class, work hard in practice, and take everything seriously – and that will enable me to be a leader by example for everyone else. I think people look up to me on the field, as well as off the field. If anyone needs help with classes or they have a question on the field, I’m experienced and have gone through a lot and know the ins and outs of life as a college student, so I think people will start to look to me as a leader and someone they can go to when they need help.
Your team has been extremely successful recently, reaching the NCAA Tournament in each season since 2003. What will your team have to do to make it a tenth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance?
I think that every year we have continued to get stronger. We have the freshmen coming in and they are great. The big difference from being an average team to being a Final Four team is the connection and bond amongst the team members. Everyone has to be on the same page and everyone has to look out for one another. We all want to make that last run for the person next to you on the field. I think we’re all really close this year and we did a lot of bonding during the offseason. We got to know the freshmen and have incorporated them into our team since day one. I think that is a big thing for team success. We’re just so close. We’re like a big family – our coaches, our strength and conditioning staff, our trainer Donna. It will really help us to make sure everyone is doing the little things on and off the field – getting treatment, hydrating, getting to bed early, everyone being able to get adjusted with things outside of soccer. All those things add up and will lead to more success on the field.
What do you feel will be different about this year’s team in comparison to the teams in the past couple years?
We have a lot of experience. We have a lot of girls on the team who have been playing for two and three years together. Even though we have a lot of freshmen, everyone knows what it takes to be a Final Four team. Even the freshmen played on successful club teams so they know what it takes to get to the highest level of being the number one club team. I think everyone knows what it takes to be the best, so we all have to be on the same page and have confidence in ourselves.
How would you characterize the style of play that coach Alison Foley has implemented in this program?
We’re more of a possessive team. We like to play with one and two touches, really ping it around as Coach Foley says. It’s been great because we’ve been working on a lot of possession, kind of like what the high level men’s teams do. They don’t just kick the ball. Our coach has implemented that philosophy into our practices. She brought in some great new drills that we have been doing. It’s been amazing. Coach is helping us and the team by learning from such top English Premier League teams as Liverpool and Manchester United. She’s getting the drills that those teams do and bringing them to our practices. Not a lot of teams can play solid possession soccer, but we have the players who can, which is awesome.
Who do you think is poised to have a breakout season and become a crucial player for your team?
I think it’s up in the air at this point – day-by-day and game-by-game. Everyone knows that we have a solid attack and we didn’t really lose anyone up there. I think that our defense is going to break out this season and really surprise everyone. We have great goalies, we’ve never had such amazing depth in goal before. Our backline has definitely been working extra hard this preseason to get to know each other because it is a relatively young backline. I think our whole team will shock people. Last year we would have loved to have gone to the Final Four and I think we have it in us this year to shock people.
Your two older sisters played professionally in the now defunct Women’s Professional Soccer league. Do you have any aspirations of playing professional soccer when you graduate?
I do. I wish the league was going to still be around. As of right now it won’t be around. I think overseas would be really fun. I’m not sure yet, though. I’m just trying to take things day-by-day. I have dreams and goals and things that I want to accomplish and achieve. I try not to look ahead, but playing professionally is a wish I do have.
What is one thing about this season that you have been looking forward to since the end of last season?
Getting back and training to be a Final Four team and to win a championship. I think that’s a dream that any senior at a great college like BC would have. I really, really want to win that cup. It would be awesome to be the first team in BC history to win it and to get back to the Final Four and to be ranked number one. It would be incredible and I have been anticipating the start of the season since last season ended.
- Interview conducted by Brad Fadem, Media Relations Assistant