Freshman Cate Soccodato Competes for Team Italy
Aug. 7, 2015
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Italy's first game will take place today, August 7, at 11 a.m. Central time (6 p.m. local time) against Israel (Live Stream). The team will then take on the Netherlands on Saturday and Wales on Sunday before entering the knockout stages of the tournament, which will begin Tuesday, August 8.
Soccodato, 17, is the youngest player on the 24-player roster and just one of six Italian-Americans selected to compete for the Italian National Team. She is a native of Syosset, New York and was a prep standout at Our Lady of Mercy Academy.
In less than 3 weeks, Soccodato will make her way to the Marquette University campus and begin her next journey as a Golden Eagle. But first, a look into her whirlwind summer and the journey with her international teammates as they prepare for the start of the European Championships.
(GoMarquette.com) When and how did you find out about your selection to the Italian National Team?
(CS) We had tryouts last summer in New Jersey where Italian-American players throughout the country participated. Shortly afterwards, I heard from the coaches that I was selected.
(GoMarquette.com) What's the most exciting part about playing for the Italian National Team?
(CS) Without question, meeting the different players on the team. The five other Italian-American players who were selected all have had incredible careers and come from exceptional universities (Boston, Duke, Penn, Virginia, St. Mary's). And my teammates who are from Italy are also so talented and have been great. They are the true leaders of the sport in Italy and I admire all of them.
(GoMarquette.com) Had you ever traveled outside of the United States before and/or to Italy and the Czech Republic?
(CS) Yes, I have been to Italy, since I have many relatives living there, but I have never been to the Czech Republic. Prague seems like a great city so far and I can't wait to see more of it.
(GoMarquette.com) What sort of challenges have you faced with this unique opportunity?
(CS) So far, the biggest challenge has been on the mental side, since I know I am the youngest person on the team (I am 17) and many teammates and opposing players are often 5-10 years older than I am. I just remind myself to be the best teammate I can be and everything will work out fine.
(GoMarquette.com) Are there certain things that you'll be able to take away from this experience and apply at Marquette?
(CS) Absolutely. From what I have seen so far, the lacrosse on many of these European teams is very physical and very intense. The women play with tremendous pride. You can't take a play off. This will hopefully sharpen my focus in practice and games when I play at Marquette.
(GoMarquette.com) Have you found there to be a language barrier?
(CS) I speak some Italian, but many of my Italian teammates speak English very well, so there have been no issues. And they have gone out of their way to make the Italian-American players feel comfortable.
(GoMarquette.com) Are there differences in the rules from the game here in the states to that in international play?
(CS) Very slight differences in rules and equipment, but by and large it is the same game.
(GoMarquette.com) Has there been a most memorable moment so far that you could share?
(CS) Opening ceremonies, standing on the field with my teammates and coaches, with all of us wearing the "Azzurri" jersey for the first time. You could just feel the excitement in the air. It made me feel so proud to be an Italian-American, and I am truly thankful to represent a country whose wonderful traditions have helped shape the person I am today.
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