Marissa DePaolo graduated in 2010 from, where she played four years of soccer and softball. While a Scarlet Hawk, DePaolo helped the softball team win a Central Massachusetts Division Championship and go to the State Finals. She also was named Rookie of the Year for both the softball and soccer teams and was named a Mid-Wach A Division 1A League All-star her sophomore, junior and senior years for soccer. DePaolo also received the softball and soccer teams’ Most Dedicated awards. Off the field, she was an active member of the groups Best Buddies and S.A.D.D.
When it came time to choose where to go to school, she was torn between Assumption College and Merrimack College and whether she would play just one sport or both at the collegiate level. Upon realizing that her major (education and human development) wouldn’t be manageable if she played both soccer and softball, she decided to stick with soccer. Her decision paid off this past year, as she registered playing time in all 21 games for the Warriors, tallying her first point of her collegiate career with an assist against Bentley University.
DePaolo continues to stay involved off the field as she is a part of the Students Athletic Accommodations Committee and is the president of the class of 2014. DePaolo owes a lot of her success to her parents, who she thanks for teaching her a good work ethic in education and in sports. In her downtime at school, between soccer and writing papers, she can be found hanging out with friends or staying in shape by running around campus.
Favorite food: Cheese. I love cheese, if I could put cheese on everything I would.
Favorite athletic team: Boston Bruins
Favorite Band or Artist: Jason Aldean
Favorite player or role model: As a celebrity athlete, I’ve always looked up to Mia Hamm, she’s a big girl soccer idol, but as kind of a smaller hometown idol, I look to someone who actually became one of my coaches, Jenna Macchi. She was a softball and basketball player at Milford High School and I just remember when I was younger that her passion for her sport just influenced me, that if you really want something and you want to be good at it, you need to work hard. It was amazing senior year when she was brought on as an assistant coach and my relationship with her became so strong that I still talk to her nowadays.
What’s on your iPod right now? I’m a big Dave Matthews fan and I like Jack Johnson. When I’m working out I listen to State Radio and I’m a big country fan, too.
What have you been up to since graduating from Milford High School just last year?
I came here for soccer and from the start of the preseason you could just tell that the atmosphere of college was completely different. It’s a lot more serious, a lot more intense and there’s a lot more things that you need be prepared for going into the preseason. I was probably in the best shape of my life going into this years’ preseason, and obviously freshman year is a little bit more different from the other years because you’re not sure what to expect. Right from the beginning I could tell the changes from high school to college and as soon as we started getting going, I just fell in love with it all. The team, the coaches and just the atmosphere at the school are awesome.
How did your first season of soccer at Merrimack go for you?
We did great. We came in second at the end of the season in the Northeast-10 (NE-10) Conference and we had the most recorded wins in a season. That was a new record for us. We made it all the way to the semi-finals and lost in overtime, which is kind of a bummer because we were leading the game 3-1, so that was definitely something bad coming out of the season.
I got to play in every game and I was the first off the bench in more than half of the games, so being able to play was an accomplishment.
Being able to play and contribute as a freshman must have been a pretty good feeling for you and should set you up nicely over the next three years?
It definitely was a confidence boost because you go from high school, where I started every game from a freshman on, to going into working extra hard to just get your playing time. So it was definitely a confidence boost when you got that playing time because you saw other girls that worked just as hard as you do, but they didn’t get to go into the games.
We graduated both center-mids, but it’s up in the air right now. If I come into preseason focused and in good shape, we’ll see what happens, but I’m definitely a contender [for a starting position].
What are you studying at Merrimack and what made you interested in that pursuing that as a career?
Education and human development. I one day hope to be a school psychologist. My mom had a huge impact on that because I saw her as a teacher and I just loved the way she worked with kids. I loved her schedule and how she was able to come to all of my games—softball and soccer—and how she had the summer off with me to do different things. Just her impact on other students’ lives is what made me want to be a teacher.
Why did you choose Merrimack and what other schools were you looking into attending?
It came down to Assumption and Merrimack. I looked at UMass Lowell, Assumption, Merrimack, University of New Haven and St. Anselms [College] and the reason I cancelled some of those schools out was because of my major. I wanted to go to a school that had a good education program, but on top of that, I’ve been coming to Merrimack since the fourth grade for overnight soccer camp, so I just fell in love with the campus and I could always picture myself here and when I got recruited to go to Merrimack it made the decision that much easier.
Do you have any favorite memories or moments from your time at Milford High School, whether it was on or off the field?
My favorite soccer memory would be senior year, the whole entire season. Senior year we got a new coach and we weren’t happy to be having different coaches all four years [of high school], but just the way that we came into senior year by beating Algonquin and Shrewsbury, which we had never done before, those were big accomplishments that set aside senior year from all the other years of high school. Also, being a part of the state finalist softball team and the Central Mass Division Championship team.